Palmerston North man's dedication to preserving war stories recognised in New Year Honours

A Palmerston North man who's dedicated his life to preserving the stories of war veterans has been acknowledged in the New Year Honours.

Patrick Bronte has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to military history.

The 43-year-old has been a tetraplegic since 1996 but says hearing how veterans got through the tough times inspired him to get through his.

Patrick Bronte's achieved something most people never will.

He's received an official email stating he's been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year Honours for his work preserving military history.

"Rather than recognise myself, I believe that this is an opportunity for me to say that I am just one part of a large mechanism doing a brilliant job at supporting veterans," he told Newshub.

It's a humble response because for 20 years he's been interviewing war veterans and immortalising their survival stories.

His journey began after a survival story of his own. A swimming accident in 1996 left him tetraplegic.

"I don't recognise the disability myself cause that's just who I am now," he said.

And while it's not always easy, it hasn't stopped him. He's travelled the country interviewed hundreds of former soldiers and produced his work with a mouthstick.

"What he has got is a goldmine that we should be cherishing. Patrick is one of these unsung professionals who does it for love," said military historian Chris Pugsley.

Bronte said he accepts his award "on behalf of all those veterans who have served our country and those who are serving our veterans when they come home".

And key among them is Bronte himself. Serving our veterans by ensuring their experiences are never forgotten.