The Labour Government abolished titles for our top honours, with pretty much no consultation.
National had indicated for some time it was likely to reverse this, and today they have done so.
Like Dean Knight, I’m a staunch Republican, but also a supporter of our top honours having titles. It makes them more meaningful. We see this in academia also where the top staff get a title of Professor, and top students can get the title of Doctor for a PhD.
The top two levels of the NZ Order of Merit will revert to their old titles of Knight and Dame Grand Companion (GNZM) and Knight and Dame Companion (KNZM/DNZM). They had been changed to Principal Companion and Dinstinguished Companion.
The 85 NZers who got one of those titles in the last few years have the option of accepting a title. It is up to them.
Interestingly John Key is not resuming the practice of recommending top Judges and Ministers to the Privy Council, which gets the person a Rt Hon. This means he will never be the Rt Hon John Key. The last Prime Minister not to be a Rt Hon was Sir Thomas Mackenzie who served from March until July 1912 only.