Planning that began almost 20 years ago enabled F&P Healthcare to be well prepared for the onset of a global pandemic, its new knight says.
Michael Daniell has been made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to business, healthcare and governance.
He has held leadership positions for over 40 years at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, where he is now a non-executive director.
"I was very surprised, stunned really. Receiving such an award was completely unexpected. I'm deeply honoured and humbled to be recognised in this way although I do prefer to see it as recognition of the efforts and achievements of many people that I've worked with over the years," Sir Michael said.
"I'm very proud of what that organisation has achieved, of the millions of patients around the world that our medical devices help and also the opportunity created for thousands of people."
F&P Healthcare has the largest global market share for intensive care respiratory humidifiers and high flow oxygen therapy systems. It has 5000 employees, with staff located in more than 40 countries.
Sir Michael said he was also proud of how the company had supported healthcare professionals during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"F&P Healthcare respiratory products are right at the frontline of treating Covid and they've put in an exceptional effort."
He said the company began planning for a global pandemic when there were a few outbreaks of new diseases, including SARS in 2003.
"We began planning then for the possibility of a pandemic and put extra manufacturing capacity in place and reserve manufacturing capacity, should a pandemic ever eventuate and that's part of the reason the company was able to respond so quickly last year."
Sir Michael joined F&P in 1979 - at the time it was the medical division of Fisher & Paykel Industries.
He held chief executive and managing director roles for 15 years until 2016 and is now a board member.