Acclaimed Wellington filmmaker Gaylene Preston is one of four dames in the New Year Honours.
Preston has written, produced and directed numerous feature films and documentaries that have been screened at festivals around the world.
In 1982, she took viewers behind-the-scenes of one of New Zealand's most iconic feature films – Utu – directing the documentary Making Utu, before she turned her hand to fiction in 1985, directing her first drama feature Mr Wrong.
Most recently, she made the documentary 'My Year With Helen', following Helen Clark at the UN.
Preston told Tim Dower the honour is something she wasn't expecting.
"It's a bit like having a spaceship arrive in your kitchen, its a big shock."
She has also served on several industry boards, including the New Zealand Film Commission and New Zealand on Air, and chaired both Creative New Zealand's Film Innovation Fund and the New Zealand Film and Television Awards Society.
LISTEN ABOVE AS GAYLENE PRESTON SPEAKS TO TIM DOWER