Psychologist, television star and author Nigel Latta says receiving a Queen's Birthday honour in recognition of his work is "humbling".

The 44-year-old, who has been a clinical and forensic psychologist for almost two decades, said he was surprised to receive a letter a few weeks ago to say he had been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to psychology.

He said there were many other deserving people doing good work.

"I didn't expect any of this. It's humbling. It's weird."


The Auckland resident is known for his television programmes aimed at helping parents deal with children and teenagers including, The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Grown-ups.

Oamaru-born Mr Latta has also written several books on parenting, and his 2003 book Into the Darklands about the causes of crime and violence inspired a documentary series.

Mr Latta has been a consultant for a number of organisations including social service agencies, offender treatment programmes, the Department of Corrections, the police and Child, Youth and Family, and was a commentator and promoter of the findings of the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit Study.

In 2009 he was appointed as an independent panelist on the review of the anti-smacking law.

But it was his private work, "individual stuff with kids and clients", that he was most proud of, he said.

Mr Latta studied clinical psychology at the University of Auckland and graduated as a master of philosophy with first-class honours in psychology, and a postgraduate diploma in clinical psychology.

He has since worked with individuals in private practice for several years.

Focusing on work that interested him had helped shaped his career, he said.

"I didn't set out to do any change-the-world kind of stuff. I just do things that are interesting and kind of fun. I do stuff that's interesting because I don't like being bored."