Paula Rebstock's New Year's honour is being described as political favouritism by Labour leader Andrew Little.
Ms Rebstock has been made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the state.
Dame Paula, who is currently overseeing a review of Child Youth and Family, chairs several boards, including ACC, and is a director of Auckland Transport.
Mr Little said she was already well compensated by the government for her services, including the $2000 a day she charges for her work on Child Youth and Family.
"New Year's honours should be reserved for those who do something extraordinary, who put in some voluntary effort, who go well above and beyond the call of duty and I don't think that's happened in this case. I'm surprised that she got an honour."
The honours system should not be manipulated for political purposes, Mr Little said.