Key Points:

Kevin John Milne

- Fair Go presenter, for services to broadcasting and the community

Kevin Milne was so surprised to receive a letter saying he had been awarded a Queen's Birthday honour that he hardly believed it was real.


"I don't know whether this is because I've been working on Fair Go too long, but I thought it might have been a new version of the Nigeria scam," he said.

But after casting his eye down the page and seeing no demands for money, the 58-year-old accepted the letter was genuine and became very excited.

"I still am. I feel not only really proud from my personal point of view, but really proud that all those people I've worked with on Fair Go have been recognised, and the show itself."

Milne's appointment today as an officer of the NZ Order of Merit comes as the TVNZ programme celebrates its 30th year. For 24 of them Milne has been part of the team championing the rights of New Zealand consumers.

He said the fact the award was for services to the community as well as broadcasting made him feel great, as that was the reason he had stayed with the show so long.

"At the end of a week, you've had all the fun of being a broadcaster, but somebody hopefully has benefited by your efforts, people have been helped out, and that makes a huge difference."

He considered his greatest accomplishment to be a campaign to stop dairy owners handling icecream cones with their bare hands. After a story highlighting the prevalence of the practice, most began using serviettes, gloves or paper cone covers.

"That's what the Fair Go thing is all about - not necessarily Winebox inquiries, it's the things that affect you every day."

His delight at the honour has been tempered by recent redundancies of colleagues at TVNZ, but his job is secure for now and, despite approaching a quarter-century with Fair Go, he has no plans to quit any time soon.

"The fact of the matter is that I don't know how to do anything else now. I'm just going to have to try and stay as young-looking as possible and hang on in there till I'm 65."