Labour’s last Honours List

December 31st, 2008 at 10:29 am by David Farrar

The New Year Honours 2009 List was approved by the previous Government, as is traditional.

A rare appointment has been made to the top run of the NZ Order of Merit – Principal Companion. This is equal to the old Grand Cross Knight, and it goes to Professor Ngatata Love. Few would disagree – he has been the voice of Maori in Wellington for many decades.

There are four appointments to the Order as Distinguished Companions, equivalent to the old Knights and Dames. They are:

  1. Dr Claudia Orange
  2. Professor David Skegg
  3. Murray Wells
  4. Margaret Wilson

Mr Wells is possibly not as well known as the other three. Some may not like Wilson’s appointment, but it used to be traditional for the Speaker to be knighted, and she has been given the equivalent.

Some of the CNZMs are:

  • Brian Corban
  • Steve Maharey
  • Mark Prebble
  • John Werry
  • Mike Rann (Premier of South Australia)

Congratulations to all those granted .

13 Responses to “Labour’s last Honours List”

  1. grumpyoldhori (2,308 comments) says:

    David, I would like to see knighthoods bought back, yes there will be some thrown around by politicians whom the public will wonder what the hell did they ever do to deserve it.
    But overall most knighthoods in the past have been deserved.
    And while they are at it since we have a Victoria Cross of NZ we should also have a George Cross of NZ and a George Medal of NZ.
    Labour cocked up with changing the honours system in forgetting that the George Cross is equal to the Victoria Cross.
    The problem with the system we have now is that few people realised that the old bloke who saved someone in a rowboat got a award that is supposed to be equal to the George Medal.

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  2. reid (21,429 comments) says:

    “Some may not like Wilson’s appointment, but it used to be traditional for the Speaker to be knighted, and she has been given the equivalent.”

    It’s also become traditional for CEOs of failed companies to receive huge payouts just to walk away. Shame isn’t it that while for most of us there are consequences flowing from poor performance, in a small handful of specific areas there are none whatsoever. Given that those areas represent some of the most powerful positions available, isn’t that more than a little bit twisted?

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  3. Ross Miller (1,762 comments) says:

    GOH … I agree with your comment re Knighthoods notwithstanding that one holder once said to me that the only two things flowing from his award was (1) the expectation that he would donate to every appeal going and (2) it was very good for getting airline upgrades.

    I disagree with your comment regarding the George Cross. The companion award to the Victoria Cross for New Zealand is ‘The New Zealand Cross’ given for “acts of bravery in situations of extreme danger”. Its anticedents go back to the 1860s and the original New Zealand Cross (the NZ VC but superseded by that award). At the time it was contemplated that the NZC could also be awarded to civilians but they never got around to it.

    If one is ever awarded then I guess the holder would be entitled to membership of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association (as is Willie Apiata).

    While we may feel nostalgic for awards such as the GCMG, KCBE, KB, DSO MC, DSC, DFC, AFC etc they really represent the past and we joined both Canada and Australia in creating our own stable of unique NZ Awards. Interesting that the British have also done away with much of the hierachy of gallantry awards to witness the Military Cross which is now awarded to all ranks with the Military Medal no more. Same same for the Navy and Airforce.

    The Queen can and still does make awards to individual New Zealanders by way of the Victorian Order (GCVO, CVO, LVO & MVO) but the criteria is narrow and restricted to those in her personal service.

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  4. deanknight (240 comments) says:

    For those who support the restoration of titular titles, see:

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  5. Frank (320 comments) says:

    Frank (263) 0 0 Says: on the Maharey Blog

    December 31st, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Former Labour Cabinet high flyer and now Massey University Vice-Chancellor, Steve Maharey, is made a companion of the Order.

    His previous colleague Dame Margaret Wilson former Speaker of the House is also made a companion of the order.

    In my view these two peoplle did not deserve the Order. They were both a disgrace to Parliament. In my view it has detracted from the merit of the Order.

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  6. baxter (799 comments) says:

    According to the news 16 Professors received awards now I wonder by what the criteria they were judged and by whom.

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  7. KiwiGreg (3,589 comments) says:

    I’m always surprised at the number of people who get awards (new and old style) for basically just doing their job. Weren’t they paid?

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  8. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,947 comments) says:

    Steve Maharey and Margaret Wilson should not have received awards. They jumped before they were pushed. Big deal. They have done nothing good for New Zealand and should therefore not receive awards from New Zealand.

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  9. mavxp (504 comments) says:

    As long as the awards are in the hands of the ruling politicians then they will always give backslaps to their outgoing favourites.

    Margaret Wilson and her agnda driven policies were an anti conservative backlash, bourne of sour grapes from the 1960s liberation movement. It is very much outdated and I doubt that her agenda driven changes to NZ legislation will be looked back on as favourable to the cohesion of New Zealand society. They place more power in the hands of the state, and undermine the fabric of society – that of the family unit.

    Steve Maharey is proud of his involvement in bringing about the euphemistically (Orwellian) called “Working for Families”, – welfare for the middle class. It is wealth redistribution in order to undermine the ethic of hard work and self reliance, the cornerstones of New Zealands heritage as a pioneering nation, and place power in the hands of socialist politicians, as people become dependant on socialist policies handed down to them by Labour governments. The future for NZ is and always will be hard work and self reliance. As it is for all nations. To undermine this is to send us all as a people sleepwalking toward self imposed poverty.

    If I had my way, national awards would be apolitical or at least not dependant on you swallowing a political idealogy in order to agree that the award was justified. Undisputed national icons and heros should be rewarded for their services, as should those people who work selflessly at grass roots level in our communities. These are the true New Zealand honours.

    I think most New Zealanders see through such hollow back-slapping. I just wish the media would be more critical of such blatant acts of partisanship.

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  10. johnbt (90 comments) says:

    Ngatata Love was apparently instrumental in Closing The Gaps. This race based policy was a $250 million black hole, or rather brown hole, for taxpayers money. Labour finally gave it up only because they could no longer justify the waste and it made no difference.
    He was also a big player in the Treaty settlement for Taranaki iwi claims in Wellington. I am unable to understand why Maoris who came from the area around Mount Egmont (known as Haupapa to them ) and arrived after European settlers are entitled to $120 million of taxpayers money.
    It will get worse. We will have to spend hundreds of millions building a new prison so Wellington prison can be mothballed again and then offered to the Maoris cheaply because it will be surplus to requirements.
    To me it is a Jonathon Hunt award.

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  11. Neil (598 comments) says:

    The honours list should be kept away from the politicians ! With Labour there has been an imbalance of Maori getting awards, often measured by how much “pork” they got out of the system. Under Labour, film makers,dancers,poets,actors,lesbian sports people and potters were high up the food chain.
    I have researched and succeeded in getting one recipient through the system. Your recipient can be in for two different honours dates however early on there is a thorough police search for any nasty transgressions. You have about two-three weeks to make your decision to accept or reject.
    Naturally in smaller communities these awards are closely watched, in cities the voluntary sector doesn’t have the same clout.
    In our district a mischief making husband and wife got”gongs” which really divided the district. Their chief sponsor was a forced relationship with Aunty Helen. Someone has suggested that National gets back in they review all the Labour awards !.
    Our arts community,writers etc are good but in small communities there are so many people doing voluntary work for years with no pay,no public thank you’s and divorced from politics. They miss out because of them not having contact with local politicians or service clubs.Without voluntary workers many services would collapse.
    Remember small districts do not have the opportunities or structure to survive without volunteerism. What city folk see as busy bodies do gooders is to us in the Provincial/rural sector covers what you get in state services.

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  12. Fletch (9,017 comments) says:

    I agree with the reinstatement of knighthoods. What we have now, to my mind, is kind of meaningless.

    It’s kind of like being a kid and missing out on an award at school so your mum and dad giving you one instead because they thought you deserved it.

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  13. Anthony (880 comments) says:

    The Herald has a good opinion piece on the honours system needing to be freed from politics:

    Talk to anyone who worked at TPK while Love was there for a more realistic assessment of him.

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