A Waikanae Beach woman who has played a key role in helping create pathways for administrative professionals has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Ethelwyn (Eth) Lloyd has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to administrative professional development.

"It was a complete and utter surprise."

Her involvement in the sector started when Dr Robin Falconer, who she was PA to at GNS Science, said to her, "There has to be a professional body out there for your profession. Go find it, and join it".

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She joined the Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand (AAPNZ), at its conference in Christchurch, in 1997, and hasn't looked back.

Eth, who has held various roles with the organisation over the years including national president, helped set up the organisation's certification programme enabling many people to achieve various administration qualifications.

She has also managed her own professional development consultancy, Enderby Associates, working with administrative professionals in government and private sectors.

And she's been heavily involved with World Administrators Summit Advisory Council as well as an international keynote speaker for Executive Secretary LIVE.

Her main focus had been "enabling women to recognise, because this is a profession that is about 95 per cent women worldwide, their own potential".

Eth described a young Māori woman she worked with at the Bay of Plenty District Health Board who ran a Māori health unit as an administrator.

"She did a level five diploma in business administration and would have been in my top three of over 100 people I put through.

"She had failed at school, which I had also done, had no self belief, and at the end of that process said to me 'what next' because she was so excited to have a qualification, to be recognised.

"I said why don't you approach Waikato University about doing an MBA and she said 'I can't do that, I don't have a degree' but I said 'that's not your problem, they will tell you if you can do it or not, you apply'."

Unfortunately the woman was made redundant because they closed that unit down and Eth lost track of her.

"But the last time I heard from her was she was on her third paper and had got straight As in everything.

"The point is it was a completely untapped resource who had no faith in herself, but once she got that first qualification it was like opening the stable door.

"She was so stunned that she could possibly achieve anything."