One of New Zealand's leading advocates for women, both in this country and overseas, has been appointed an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Susan Kedgley, who established the Auckland University Women's Liberation and helped found the National Organisation for Women in the early 70s, said she was very honoured to be appointed.

"I am privileged to have been involved in two of the great movements for social change of our time — the campaign for women's equality, for half a century, and the environmental movement for the past thirty years.

"I see the award as a recognition of the achievements of these two important campaigns," she said.

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Kedgley is also a former MP for the Green Party and Wellington City Councillor.

She has numerous accolades and achievements, including the Women in Governance Awards, Not-for-Profit Governance Leader award, the Women of Influence Award, New Zealand Health Industry award and the Distinguished Public Service Award.

She has also written five books on topics such as women's issues and gender equality.

While she was at the UN, working for Women's Secretariat, Kedgley helped establish the United Nation Women's Group to lobby for improving the working conditions of women at the United Nations.

She was President of United Nations Women Aotearoa New Zealand from 2014 to 2016 and stepped down from the Board in 2019.