Māori health advocate Naida Glavish is one of our four new dames announced in the New Year Honours.
Ms Glavish has become a Dame Companion of the NZ Order of Merit for her services to Māori and is well-known for championing appropriate cultural support.
Dame Naida says the milestone isn't just for her, but it's important to her iwi and hapū as well.
"I thought, goodness me, my hapū of Ngāti Te Rino and Ngāti Hine, and my iwi of Ngāti Whātua... this would be the first dame to our iwis," she told Newshub.
She says her work was incredibly important to her and helped contribute to a better feeling of wellbeing for Māori.
"We have a whānau room in every ward, we have Māori signage," she said. "It's about being included and that has a tremendous sense of wellbeing."
Minister of Health David Clark says it's a well-deserved honour for Dame Naida and her work has been very important in the health sector.
"It is deserved acknowledgment for her tireless service to Māori and the community," he said.
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"Ms Glavish has made a huge contribution to Māori health, and is currently chief advisor Tikanga Māori with the He Kāmaka Waiora, Māori Health, for the Waitemata and Auckland District Health Boards.
"She has fought hard to ensure appropriate cultural support for Māori patients, work that I know has made a real difference to many people's lives."