Louise Nicholas - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the prevention of sexual violence.

In a year full of accolades, Louise Nicholas could be forgiven for getting emotional when she read she was in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.

For her battle against sexual crime, she was also named the 2015 Anzac of the Year.

Last week, she proudly stood before 36 new police recruits as the patron of Wing 290, telling the rookies they were now her family.


Today, she was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the prevention of sexual violence.

Ms Nicholas said she was with her daughter Kerri when the letter arrived confirming she'd be honoured in today's awards.

The busy mother-of-four had been working with the police recruits and preparing for the Anzac award.

"I burst into tears and Kerri says to me 'Mum, what's wrong?' I just said 'read this. It's crazy'."

She said she was "blown away" to be honoured for work campaigning for other victims of sexual crimes.

"But I'm taking it and I'm saying 'thank you very very much.' Because I take it on behalf of those who work in the sector and also for our survivors who actually do the hard yards. It's an acknowledgment to them."

Ms Nicholas worked as a national survivor advocate for Rape Prevention Education and was on the Tauiwi caucus of the executive committee of Te Ohaakii a Hine - National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together.

"The accolades that are coming, it's really interesting, because for all the bad crap that's gone on, so much good has come from it - and not just for myself but for the police, for the sector, for our communities."

She said more work was needed to change attitudes about sexual violence.

"The Government's starting to get on board now and we've just got to keep moving them forward. So to have that Queen's Birthday award presented, it's for everybody."

A decade ago, Ms Nicholas' fight for justice sparked public protests and the launching of Operation Austin to investigate alleged sexual offending by police officers in the 1980s.

She was named the New Zealand Herald's 2007 New Zealander of the Year.

&bulRead about Louise Nicholas' role as a police patron at tinyurl.com/nicholaspolicewing.

Diane Elizabeth Robertson - Dame companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the community.

After a difficult childhood, Auckland City Mission chief executive Diane Robertson now gives back to the community in a multitude of ways.

After working in social services for "a very, very long time", Ms Robertson said she was "pretty excited and incredibly proud" to hear she was being honoured.

Her work with the homeless and the poor is extremely rewarding, but challenging at times.

Ms Robertson has been the Auckland City Missioner since 1998 and manages an $8 million budget, 85 staff and hundreds of volunteers, and oversees numerous initiatives to help people in need.

"I've had a huge number of people in my life who've helped me and given me opportunities, and part of the work I do is being able to do that for other people."

- Eli Orzessek

Therese Walsh - Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sports administration.

This year's Cricket World Cup was successful on the field for the Black Caps and it has been a success for one of the tournament's key figures off the field - Therese Walsh, head of New Zealand's cup campaign.

Dame Therese spent five years at New Zealand Rugby as chief financial officer and general manager of corporate services, followed by five years at Rugby New Zealand 2011 in corporate services. She was also chief operating officer for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

She negotiated rights for the number of games shared between New Zealand and Australia in the Cricket World Cup, with the opening ceremony to be held in Christchurch.

Her ability to manage large workloads is well regarded.

- Daniel Richardson

Gavin Peter Ellis - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to journalism.

A journalist of 40 years, Dr Ellis has been a strong and long-standing advocate for the freedom of the press.

During his time as editor and editor-in-chief at the Herald, from 1996 to 2004, he was central to the modernisation of the paper. He was also an executive board member and trustee of the National Knowledge Wave Conference from 2000 to 2003 and the Asia New Zealand Foundation from 2007 to 2012.

Since his retirement from the New Zealand Herald he has lectured at the University of Auckland, where he completed an MA and PhD.

Dr Ellis was awarded the Commonwealth Press Union Global Astor Award (London), for services to press freedom and the Qantas Media Awards Outstanding Industry Contribution Award.

- Regan Schoultz

Detective Superintendent Andrew Lovelock - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to the New Zealand police and the community.

Mr Lovelock has been with the police since 1975. He was appointed detective superintendent in 2005 and continues in this role with oversight of all criminal investigations in the Northland, Waitemata, Auckland City and Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty and Waikato districts.

He advised the select committee considering the bill that became the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009 and played a leading role in the act's implementation within the police.

Mr Lovelock has led a number of sensitive cases of high public interest - some of which have dealt with police conduct, including the review of the 1970 double homicide of Harvey and Jeannette Crewe - with professionalism and thoroughness.

- Anna Leask

Judge Neil MacLean - Queen's Service Order, for services to the judiciary.

He oversaw the coroner's hearings into New Zealand's biggest casualty events and was a judge for more than 20 years and now Judge Neil MacLean has been appointed a companion of the Queen's Service Order for his services to the judiciary.

Judge MacLean began practising as a lawyer in Christchurch in 1968, before serving as the city's coroner from 1978 to 1993, when he was appointed to the District Court bench.

He worked in Gisborne before transferring to Hamilton in 1999. He was appointed the country's first Chief Coroner in 2007. During his tenure he oversaw the hearings for the Pike River mine disaster and the Christchurch earthquakes and was president of the Asia Pacific Coroners Society in 2010.

Judge MacLean retired earlier this year.

- Belinda Feek

Tagaloatele Professor Margaret Ellen (Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop) - Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to education and the Pacific community.

Being appointed a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education and the Pacific community came as an "unexpected honour" for Tagaloatele Professor Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, but it's not something she takes complete credit for.

The holder of the chair in Pacific studies at the Institute of Public Policy at Auckland University of Technology views the honour as a "tribute to education" rather than to her individual achievements.

"I see teaching education as a really honourable calling, it's more than just a job. More particularly, I see this award as a tribute to the very small but growing number of passionate Pacific educators."

Max Gimblett - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Receiving a Queen's Birthday Honour was a surprise for accomplished artist Max Gimblett, but it was also something he'd been hoping for.

"I'm 79 years old, so it's been a long time coming," he says from his loft in the Bowery in New York City. Despite having lived out of the country since 1959, Gimblett remains "very much a New Zealander" with barely a touch of an American accent.

His paintings and calligraphic work are widely recognised, placed in significant public and private collections, major museums and art galleries in more than 100 exhibitions internationally and nationally. He is particularly known for his use of the quatrefoil, a leaf-like shape of four circles that intersect at a single point.

Gimblett plans to visit in August, to receive the honour in person. "There's no way I would receive this and not show up to pick it up."

- Eli Orzessek

Serviceman S and Serviceman G - The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (for military personnel), for services to the New Zealand Defence Force.

Serviceman S was involved in several tours of duty in Afghanistan from 2009, throughout which he made significant contributions to several operations, including New Zealand's withdrawal from the theatre.

Serviceman G served in Afghanistan in 2013 and 2014, when he made significant contributions to operations throughout the theatre.

The actions of Servicemen S and G were of a superior standard and are said to have brought great credit to the New Zealand Defence Force, which is why the pair have been given the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration.

- Belinda Feek