A Hāwera man has been given a Queen's Service Medal (QSM) for his services to people with intellectual disabilities.
Neil Taylor received a QSM as part of the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours List.
Neil says he started volunteering for IHC New Zealand in 1978. IHC New Zealand is a national charity providing support and care for those with intellectual disabilities.
Since then Neil has worked in a number of governance roles and is a life member of IHC New Zealand. He says his involvement with IHC started when he wanted to give back to the community.
"My business partner at the time, Paul Harris, and I had an accounting firm called Harris Taylor Chartered Accountants. It was our philosphy to give something back to the community we worked in.
"Paul spent 50 years supporting the Scouts and I chose IHC."
While Neil retired from his company, Harris Taylors Chartered Accountants, in 2011, he didn't stop his involvement with IHC.
Neil says IHC has a high profile in South Taranaki and is deservedly well respected in the community. Working for IHC New Zealand has enriched his life in many ways, he says.
"Being an accountant on one hand and involved with one of New Zealand's finest charities has been really enriching."
Neil's company has also supported local young people in the community over the years, awarding scholarships to Hāwera High School students.
"We used to annually give one chosen student who was wanting a future in accounting a scholarship.
"We paid for their first year of university and offered them a paying job at the Harris Taylor office during the holidays."
Being awarded a QSM was an honour, says Neil, who adds he was overwhelmed on first being told.
"It is a very high honour and I am proud to receive it."