Rape survivor Louise Nicholas' battle against sexual crime has seen her named the 2015 Anzac of the Year.
The award was presented by Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae at Government House in Wellington this evening.
When Ms Nicholas first heard about the honour she broke down in tears, she said.
"It absolutely means the world to me, even more so because it's the hundred year anniversary for Anzac. It's for our soldiers, the fight and what they had to go through.
"For every survivor that I've supported and for every survivor out there, this award is for them."
The presentation came on the anniversary of her mother's death, which made it even more special, Ms Nicholas said.
Ms Nicholas, a survivor of childhood and adult rape, now campaigns for other victims of sexual crimes.
Her story of being raped as a teenager in the 1980s was revealed in 2004 and resulted in numerous criminal trials, a Commission of Inquiry and one officer being jailed for attempting to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice.
She now works as a national survivor advocate for the Rape Prevention Education and is on the Tauiwi Caucus of the Executive Committee of Te Ohaakii a Hine - National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together.
She was voted the New Zealand Herald's 2007 New Zealander of the Year.
Ms Nicholas said accepting praise for speaking out about her past was difficult for her.
"I struggle with the accolades that I do get, because I just do what I do.
"People say it's because of your courage, your commitment, your passion your comradeship that's a symbol of anzac but for me I just want the wrongs of the past righted."
At the award ceremony, Sir Jerry said Ms Nicholas embodied the qualities the panel looks for in an Anzac of the Year.
She demonstrated great courage when she demanded accountability in the face of considerable opposition and amidst a firestorm of media and public scrutiny, he said.
"You have braved the outrage of personal hurt, used your experience to help other women and men in our society and initiated change for the better," he said.
"You are an inspiration to other New Zealanders."
The Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Association nominated Ms Nicholas for the award, which was presented in association with the Returned and Services Association.
She was selected by a panel of judges based on the attributes of extraordinary courage, compassion comradeship and commitment.