Whakatāne's John Pullar prides himself on being a man who gets things done.

He's more than happy doing his work behind the scenes but it seems 2018 was the year Pullar was to be thrust into the limelight for his achievements.

To top the year off, the retired builder is to be given the Queen's Service Medal for services to the community.

Pullar says the nomination and subsequent selection came as a surprise.


"I have a bit of an idea of who it might have been," Pullar said. "It's a surprise because what I do is just what I do. I like to keep busy and am happy to get involved in trusts and organisations that can benefit from what I do."

A Whakatane District councillor from 2013 to 2016, he intended to stand again next year as he believed he still had more to offer the district.

Pullar's latest community role saw him lead a team of volunteers in the Liveable Homes Project, in response to damage caused by the ex-Tropical Cyclones Debbie and Cook in 2017. He was involved with fundraising and co-ordinated the scope of work and rebuild of 17 homes within a six-month period.

His expertise also saw him involved in the construction phase of Project Hope, a community-led initiative to build a cancer treatment centre at Whakatāne Hospital.

He chairs the Kiwi Trust, the Community Liaison Committee of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Kopeopeo Canal Remediation Project, has been a member of Whakatane West Rotary Club since 1978 and was president in the late 1990s. He has also been involved in a number of Rotary fundraising and humanitarian projects.

"I believe if you're going to get involved in anything, you might as well give it everything."