Two silver bravery medals were awarded by the Royal Humane Society in Christchurch on Tuesday marking the efforts of two men who between them saved five lives.
Mack Pouwhare and Allan Maxted were each the first on the scene of car accidents near their homes in 2008 and risked their own lives to save the occupants.
Mr Pouwhare heard the crash of a car hitting a power pole in Blenheim and saw two women and three infants in the wreck surrounded by live power lines.
Both women touched the lines and received shocks, which killed one of them. It was then left to Mr Pouwhare to save the children from the same fate.
Mr Pouwhare says he is humbled by the recognition of his actions, but says he believes anyone else would have done the same thing.
That sentiment was echoed by Amberly greengrocer Allan Maxted, who was awarded his medal for pulling a man from a burning car.
Royal Humane Society president Judge Neil Hattaway says the awards recognise the courageous acts that everyday people do - even if those people don't want recognition.
The Humane Society has now given more than 2000 awards for bravery since 1898.