The laughs are what has kept Anne Goater working at Kowhainui Home for four decades, the care worker says.
"We laugh here every day and that's the staff and the residents," she said.
"I never imagined when I started that I would still be here but it is the good company of residents and my co-workers that keeps me here."
The long service was celebrated with a special "high tea" in the main living room on Wednesday. Goater said she had come in especially while on annual leave.
"My actual anniversary was last month but not everyone could be here so we postponed it."
Kowhainui manager Trish Boswell presented Goater with a gold nurses' watch to "call her bluff," she said.
"She had been saying that she 'probably wouldn't get a gold watch' for her long service so we went and proved her wrong."
Boswell said everyone at Kowhainui was proud of Goater for reaching such an "amazing milestone."
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"She has been such a valuable constant through so many changes at Kowhainui.
"There has been extensive growth both with building extensions and changes in care levels. Anne has adapted to every new challenge and been a steady constant for both elders and fellow care workers," Boswell said.
Goater started working at Kowhainui as a 20-year-old in 1982 and never imagined she would enjoy the work as much as she has.
"I had been working at a pre-school before that so you could say I skipped straight from childhood to seniority and missed out on middle age," she said.
She said not having grandparents in her life may have contributed to the joy she got out of the job.
"Over the years I've had to learn not to get too attached to residents because when I was new in the job I found it heartbreaking when someone died.
"My advice to a young person interested in this work would be to take it a day at a time, allow elders time to choose what they would like to be doing, and encourage laughter."