Sir Pita Sharples - Knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services as a member of Parliament and to Maori.
Ta Pita Sharples is the first to acknowledge an honour bestowed by the Queen is not the most traditional of Maori ceremonies.
"I don't know when we had knights running round our country," he laughs. But he did not turn it down. "I didn't dare. The tribes like to see that they've got a knight. My iwi have been on to that for a while, and so have the Maori Party. So I just go along with the flow."
He was "embarrassingly honoured" by it. "I really do get embarrassed because I know everyone else out there is doing the biz as well."
Ta Pita was made a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Maori and as a MP. It follows his retirement from politics last year after nine years in Parliament for the Maori Party. He was Minister of Maori Affairs in a National-led Government for six years.
It is also a nod to his work before Parliament in areas such as education, te reo Maori and kapa haka, and a lifetime of working with urban Maori.
He was sometimes sceptical about the honours, noting some were awarded to the likes of beer barons and others who were doing a job and making a lot of money in the process.
"You sell a lot of beer, all those things will get you knighthoods. A lot of guys have got there because it's just their business. You could look at a lot of people who do a lot of stuff in their own time, at a lot of effort and for a lot of people, which is quite outside their job description and what they get paid for. And that's why people should get gongs. That's my view."
He has now been awarded two of them - he was made a CBE in 1990 for services to education.
He says Pakeha may call him "Sir" but Maori were more likely to opt for the te reo version of "Ta".
Some might also stick with his other less formal title of Papa Pita. "If they want to call me 'Sir' they can go 'Ta Papa Pita'."
His knighthood comes five months after his fellow Maori Party founder Tariana Turia became a dame companion in the New Year's Honours.
He said Turia beating him to the honour had not bothered him. "God knows she deserved hers. We still get together and have a laugh."