The man behind the 'Farmy Army' quake cleanup group has been awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit today.
John Hartnell, the bees spokesperson for Federated Farmers, formed the Farmy Army following the Christchurch earthquake on February 22, 2011.
The group cleared liquefaction from roads and driveways using tractors and organised other farmers and volunteers to clear silt out of backyards.
They also set up a huge kitchen at Canterbury Agricultural Park to feed volunteers and create food packs for those in need.
Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae presented the medal to Mr Hartnell today at a special ceremony at Government House.
Mr Hartnell says the award also belongs to everyone who helped out in the aftermath of the disaster.
"To my mind it proves there is no such thing as a rural-urban divide. We are all New Zealanders and we do care for our fellow Kiwis in times of need.
"As for the countless farmers, support crew and the Canterbury Agricultural Park team, who selflessly helped out Christchurch in its hour of need, your legacy will live on as our city proudly rises again."
The Farmy Army was formed on the back of the Student Volunteer Army which began after the September 4 earthquake in 2010.
source: newshub archive