Sir? Yes, sir. That was the answer from John Wells, who is looking forward to accepting the new titular honour of sir.

Mr Wells, who was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and sport, was among 19 people to receive top insignia awards at Government House in Auckland yesterday.

Mr Wells is known for his involvement with the New Zealand Academy of Sport, the New Zealand Sport Foundation and as a member of the successful bid committee for the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

With the option to take the newly instated titular honour of sir, Mr Wells was happy to accept.

"It's time to stop sitting on the fence. I will accept the title - not for me, but for the sport sector."

Flanked by his family, Mr Wells said his success was the result of many people who had come together to achieve the best for sport.

"Sport has been my life," he said. "This - it's a lot of people working together over the years. I see it for them, really. I'm very lucky to receive this [and] it's been a wonderful day with the family."

Son Jeremy Wells - known as Eating Media Lunch's Newsboy - was glad to see his father recognised in such a way.

"He's a great dad - always has been. I'm very proud of him."

Asked if he would ever look to follow in his father's footsteps, he said, chuckling: "No, never. I'm lucky they let me enter Government House."

The third round of ceremonies will take place tomorrow with former Speaker of the House Margaret Wilson, rowing champion Mahe Drysdale and Olympic chef de mission Dave Currie among those to be honoured.

DESERVING RECIPIENTS
D
ISTINGUISHED COMPANION OF THE NZ ORDER OF MERIT
* Mr John Wells for services to business and sport.

COMPANION OF THE NZ ORDER OF MERIT (C.N.Z.M)
* Mr Brian Corban for services to the community.
* Professor John Werry for services to child and adolescent psychiatry.

COMPANION OF THE QUEEN'S SERVICE ORDER (Q.S.O)
* Mrs Jennifer Broom for services to the refugee community.
* Mrs Beryl Wilkinson for services to senior citizens.

OFFICER OF THE NZ ORDER OF MERIT (O.N.Z.M)
* Dr John Langley for services to education.
* Mr Thomas Rogerson for services to the visually impaired.

MEMBER OF THE NZ ORDER OF MERIT (M.N.Z.M)
* Dr Jeanette Crossley for services to science, in particular Addison's disease.
* Mrs Dayle Mace for services to the arts and the community.
* Dr Johan Morreau for services to community health.
* Mrs Evelyn Tobin for services to te reo.
* Mr Nathan Twaddle for services to rowing.
* Ms Georgina Zellan-Smith for services to music.

QUEEN'S SERVICE MEDAL (Q.S.M)
* Mr Stephen Baggs for services to the New Zealand Customs Service.
* Mrs Ereti Brown for services to Maori and youth.
* Reverend David Connor for services to prisoner welfare.
* Mrs Thangaratnam Mahasivam for services to the Tamil community.
* Mr Granby Siakimotu for services to the Pacific Islands community.
* Mr Graeme Tait for services to the community.