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"My three essential words are 'non-judgemental, communication and love'," McKerras said.
McKerras began volunteering at Meals on Wheels 42 years ago, when her youngest son was 6 months old.
"I never judge people by their cover, as the saying goes."
McKerras was the supreme winner at the Whanganui Volunteer (Kaituao) Awards in 2014 and won the "Volunteer of the Year" award from the Royal Whanganui Opera House in 2005, where she has worked for 25 years.
"I'm still an usher there downstairs, but upstairs requires a bit more energy."
McKerras said a special thanks had to go to her late husband Kevin, who had always encouraged her love of volunteering, and to her four sons.
"My sons always asked about the bench full of lovely baking when they went to bed, but they soon found out that it wouldn't be there in the morning.
"I'm very proud and honoured to accept this award.
"You don't do volunteering to get things like this, but you learn to accept it when it's given to you.