Former Northland Regional Council chairman Mark Farnsworth has been trying to keep a low profile since leaving local body politics at last year's election.
But that's changed, Mr Farnsworth today being made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the community in the Queen's Birthday honours.
He was a member of the council for 18 years, including the last nine as chairman and was a member of the NZ School Trustees Association for nine years, including being Northland president between 1990 and 1993 and national president between 1994 and 1996.
He has also held positions with community organisations, including Principal Fire Officer of the Pouto Rural Fire District; chairman of the Northland Regional Animal Health Committee and six years on the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee. He was appointed to the Aquaculture Advisory Group in 2009 and the Ministerial Advisory Team on Aquaculture in 2010 and is highly regarded for his community-minded approach.
Mr Farnsworth said it was a pleasant surprise to be made a MNZM and he thanked all those who felt his work deemed him worthy of such a high accolade.
"I've had a lot of support from many people over many years and I'd like to thank them all."