It’s right that New Zealanders discuss and debate who should be conferred the top awards. The media should lead the discussion and the PM and his ministerial colleagues on the adjudicating committee ought to take heed.
Oh I see. It is the role of the media to lead the discussion on who gets knighted, and it is the role of the Prime Minister to tale heed.
As to why Key mentioned Richie McCaw had indicated he thought a knighthood was premature, it’s simple.
If McCaw wasn’t included when the honours are announced, then the media focus would all be on him missing out, rather than on those who gained the honours. So Key gets it out early that Richie has said he doesn’t think it is appropriate while he is still playing (a stance I agree with), and that means when the honours come out, the focus will be on those who do get one.