With 15 close friends and family members gathered around clutching beers, Hugh Green sat in his armchair in his socks awaiting the arrival of the governor-general in his living room.
As Sir Jerry Mateparae entered the modest Mt Albert living room, Mr Green rose to his feet.
"Take a seat!" Sir Jerry barked, after shaking Mr Green's hand. He quickly clarified: "That wasn't an order."
Sir Jerry yesterday presented Mr Green with the Queen's Service Medal for services to philanthropy.
When the governor-general heard Mr Green was too ill with cancer to attend a public ceremony, he organised a rare investiture at Mr Green's home.
"It's nice to be able to do it like this. Something that he gains out of it is he gets a lot more family and friends that can help him celebrate his achievement," Sir Jerry said.
Mr Green said he was pleased with his unusual investiture.
"It's handy this, you don't have to move about too much," he joked.
He said it was natural for him to want to give to charity.
"I made a lot of money and I can't spend it. So I decided to give it away and do something for somebody else."
- The Dominion Post
Is New Zealand's airport security stringent enough?Related story: Risky objects bypass Wellington Airport security