Receiving a Queen's Service Medal was a surprise for Martinborough man Lani Tupu.
Mr Tupu, 82, was recognised in the New Year Honours List for his services to the Pacific community through his leadership in both community and religious settings.
Mr Tupu said he had no idea who had nominated him for the award and was shocked to learn he had received it.
"I just about fell off my chair. I never thought of getting something like that. It was quite a surprise ... it came out of the blue."
Mr Tupu has worked to help new immigrants integrate into New Zealand culture by providing support, knowledge, and language assistance.
He has helped on several development projects in the Pacific Islands, including leading a two-year project to implement a water supply and health project in Falelima in Samoa, and improving emergency facilities on the island.
He has provided counsel to Pacific families, police, the Ministries of Pacific Affairs and Justice, and was part of the Law Association for Asia and the South Pacific delegation in 1993 that consulted with Pacific Governments on Human Rights Commission issues.
He has been appointed to several high-profile roles in the New Zealand Methodist Church including vice-president, secretary and property convenor of the Samoan Synod branch.
Originally from Samoa, Mr Tupu moved to New Zealand as a 16-year-old and has lived in Wellington for 53 years, recently moving to Martinborough.
He has worked with people from all over the Pacific, helping with interpretation in court cases as well as setting up education and English courses.
He has also worked as an investigator in the Ombudsman's office and is a marriage celebrant and Justice of the Peace.
As well as continuing his work as a JP from his office in Martinborough, he hopes to connect with the Pacific community in Wairarapa, Mr Tupu said.
Although a recent addition to Wairarapa, he is already in love with his new home, he said.