Kawakawa fire chief Wayne Martin has been awarded his Queen's Service Medal by new Governor-General, and fellow Northlander, Dame Cindy Kiro.
The investiture ceremony took place at Government House in Wellington on Friday.
Martin, who started volunteering with Kawakawa Fire Brigade in 1992 and has been chief fire officer since 2006, is credited with introducing tikanga Māori into the everyday work of the Fire Service, now Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ), for example at the scene of fatal crashes.
His methods have since been adopted across Northland.
Martin helped set up a cadet unit to bring young people into the brigade and his whānau approach has led to initiatives such as local kuia caring for the volunteers' children while they attend callouts.
He also coaches the Ngāti Hine Moerewa-United Kawakawa rugby team.
Martin credited the "village" that raised him — especially people like police iwi liaison Paddy Whiu and kaumātua Wiremu Wiremu — for his award.
Martin's QSM for services to FENZ was announced on December 31.
On Monday it was Te Roroa Treaty negotiator and artist Alex Nathan's turn to receive one of the country's top honours at Wellington's Government House.
His award — Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Māori and art — was also announced in the New Year's Honours on December 31.
Nathan, who is based in Whangārei, played a key role in the Treaty settlement of west coast iwi Te Roroa, from the research and initial claim in 1986 through years of negotiations to settlement in 2008. He then chaired the iwi until 2010.
He helped establish Matatina Marae in Waipoua Forest and represented Te Roroa in negotiations with local and central government over the protection of the forest and Kai Iwi Lakes.
He co-founded Waipoua Forest Trust, which has planted more than 1.5 million trees since 1998, and has been closely involved in work to safeguard the great kauri Tāne Mahuta.
Nathan's contribution to the arts began with traditional carving of bone, stone and wood, but since the 1990s he has made a name for himself internationally for his use of silver as an indigenous art form.
Northland's other New Year's Honours recipients were health and community advocate Sir Chris Farrelly KNZM, principal Pat Newman MNZM, musician Margery Pita MNZM, conservationist William Wright MNZM, educator Louise Ānaru-Tangira MNZM, GP Graeme Fenton MNZM, road safety campaigner John Williamson QSM and astronomer Jane Painter QSM.
Dame Cindy is due to be formally welcomed into her role this week with ceremonies at her home marae of Mōtatau, near Kawakawa, and Te Whare Rūnanga (the carved meeting house) at the Treaty Grounds.