Serving others is in Martyn Norrie's DNA.

In his lifetime he's volunteered for not-for-profit organisations, founded a charitable music organisation and been the chairman of boards.

Norrie's services to the community have been acknowledged in the Queen's Birthday Honours with the Queen's Service Medal.

Norrie worked for claims management firm Cunningham Lindsey, now Sedgwick, for the majority of his career, eventually becoming chief executive, and was involved in coaching chief executives overseas and negotiating claims following the Christchurch earthquakes.


"The highlight for me was to see a team coming together, working together well, solving problems caused by the earthquake and other issues."

Before retiring, Norrie was awarded the lifetime achievement award by the insurance industry.

Outside of work, he was involved in the governance of churches and organisations, including as chairman of Auckland's Windsor Park Baptist Church, on the board of Carey Baptist College and as the founding chairman of Parachute Music in 1989, which ran a Christian music festival until 2014.

"It [Parachute] caught us all by surprise. It grew to have about 25,000 young people at the festival. It was a very well-regarded festival."

In retirement, Norrie continues to serve and volunteer as the chairman of Sports Chaplaincy New Zealand, as an advisory board member of philanthropic organisation Wilberforce Foundation, a board member of Arrow Leadership and, until last year, chairman of the Lake Okareka Residents' Association.

He's spent the last two years writing a book called Good Governance is Worth the Effort which will be published later this month.

"The book is really designed to help charities and improve their governance and answers a lot of questions that people on boards asked me from time to time.

"It's drawing from my many years of experience."


For Norrie, being awarded the Queen's Service Medal is an acknowledgement of the people and teams he's worked with.

"While I've provided leadership and support to many teams you can't do something like that on your own. You're reliant on the goodwill and hard work of others to succeed.

"I think when we're set up a pattern of service in your life it's just natural to continue to serve the community to help make things better.

"Humanity functions better because of enthusiastic volunteers in so many areas of life. I really believe in making voluntary contributions and have always done so."