The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2014

June 2nd, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The official list is here.

ONZ

Sir Ronald Powell Carter, KNZM, of Auckland. For services to New Zealand.

DNZM

The Honourable Susan Gwynfa Mary Glazebrook, of Wellington. For services to the judiciary.

The Honourable Lowell Patria Goddard, QC, of Wellington. For services to the law.

Ms Patricia Lee Reddy, of Wellington. For services to the arts and business.

KNZM

Mr Graeme Seton Avery, ONZM, of Hastings. For services to business and sport.

Mr Richard John Hayes, MNZM, of Te Anau. For services to Search and Rescue and the community.

Dr John Antony Hood, of Shipton Under Wychwood, United Kingdom. For services to tertiary education.

Mr Robert John Stewart, ONZM, of Christchurch. For services to manufacturing and the community.

Stuff reports:

Engineering supremo Sir Ron Carter has joined New Zealand’s most elite club, courtesy of the Queen’s Birthday honours.

Carter has been made a member of the Order of New Zealand, the country’s highest honour, which recognises outstanding service to the country and its people.

It is limited to 20 living members and with Carter’s addition there are now 17.

Carter, who was knighted for his service to engineering in 1998, is recognised in today’s honours for his contribution to infrastructure planning, governance, business and education.

His name is synonymous with Beca, a company that was tiny when he joined in 1959, but which became a major engineering force with its involvement in projects such as the Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter, the Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill, and the Sky Tower.

He has served on the royal commission inquiring into the Christchurch earthquakes, chaired the Committee for Auckland, which laid the groundwork for the Auckland Council, and created a consortium in Auckland that helped position iwi as significant investors.

Today’s honours include three new dames and four knights.

Two of the dames are judges. Justice Susan Glazebrook, who serves on the Supreme Court bench and has served on many international human rights and law bodies, is honoured for her services to the judiciary.

Justice Lowell Goddard, who chaired the Independent Police Conduct Authority from 2007-12, is recognised for services to the law.

The other dame is Film Commission chairwoman Patsy Reddy, who is also deputy chairwoman of the New Zealand Transport Agency and chief Crown negotiator for Treaty settlements in Bay of Plenty. Her award is for services to the arts and business.

Knighthoods have gone to helicopter pilot Richard Hayes, businessman and sports administrator Graeme Avery, education leader John Hood and manufacturer Robert Stewart.

Hayes, from Te Anau, is one of the country’s best-known helicopter pilots, and is honoured with a knighthood for his services to the search and rescue movement and to the community.

Avery’s award recognises his services to business and sport. He has been involved with athletics for more than 40 years and with exports for more than 50 years through his former medical publishing business Adis International and his wine business Sileni Estates.

Hood is knighted for his services to tertiary education. The University of Auckland vice-chancellor from 1999 to 2004, he strengthened research throughout the institution during his time in charge and set up a new business school. He is president and chief executive of the Robertson Foundation in New York.

Stewart, the founder of Skope Industries which manufactures low energy commercial refrigerators that are exported around the world, is recognised for his services to manufacturing and the community. He has chaired the Health Research Council since 2002 and is well known for his philanthropic deeds in Canterbury.

Good to see someone who is not a politician appointed to the Order of New Zealand. Of their 17 members, seven are former or current politicians.

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2014 New Years Honours

December 31st, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The official list is here. The top gongs are:

DNZM

To be Dames Companion of the said Order:

Ms Trelise Pamela Cooper, MNZM, of Auckland. For services to fashion and the community.

Mrs Alison Mae Paterson, CNZM, QSO, of Auckland. For services to business.

KNZM

To be Knights Companion of the said Order:

Dr Noble Thomson Curtis, of Rotorua. For services to Māori education.

Archbishop David John Moxon, of Rome, Italy. For services to the Anglican Church.

Mr Robert John Parker, of Christchurch. For services to local body affairs and the community.

Mr Peter James Vela, ONZM, of Hamilton. For services to the thoroughbred industry.

Dame Trelise is well known. Dame Alison is not a household name but is a highly regarded businesswoman, profiled by the Listener here. Name Chairperson of the Year in 2011 by Management Magazine, she has been a Director of numerous companies.

Sir Toby has spent a lifetime in Maori education as a teacher, then teacher of teachers.

Sir David is basically the global Anglican “ambassador” to the Catholic Church.

Sir Bob needs no introduction.

Sir Peter is profiled here in 2008, with his brother. They have extensive fishing and racing interests.

Some other high profile honours are:

  • Karen Walker, CNZM
  • John Reid, CNZM
  • Eleanor Catton, MNZM
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2013 QB honours

June 3rd, 2013 at 8:55 am by David Farrar

The full list is on the DPMC site.

ONZ

To be a Member of the said Order:

Emeritus Professor Albert Wendt, CNZM, of Auckland. For services to New Zealand.

Professor Wendt was born in Samoa, but of German heritage. He established the University of the South Pacific Center in Samoa, has won the NZ Books Awards and is currently a Professor of Pacific studies at the University of Auckland.

DNZM

To be a Dame Companion of the said Order:

Mrs Ngāneko Kaihau Minhinnick, JP, of Waiuku. For services to Māori and conservation.

KNZM

To be Knights Companion of the said Order:

The Honourable Robert Stanley Chambers, of Auckland. For services to the judiciary. (Deceased. This appointment took effect on 20 May 2013; Her Majesty’s approval having been signified before the date of decease.)

Mr John Stratton Davies, QSO, of Queenstown. For services to business and tourism.

Dr The Right Honourable Alexander Lockwood Smith, of London, United Kingdom. For services as a Member of Parliament and as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Mr Gordon Frederick Tietjens, CNZM, of Tauranga. For services to rugby.

Dame Ngāneko has been associated with many causes, mostly associated with the left such as anti-nuclear. I doubt anyone can say the Key Government is being partisan with this appointment.

Sir Robert’s appointment was already known, to her his sad untimely death.

Sir John Davies is a former Mayor of Queenstown and a major owner of tourism businesses such as Mt Hutt, Coronet Peak, the Remarkables, Tourism Milford,  the Hermitage Hotel at Aoraki-Mt Cook. As Mayor he was instrumental in establishing the village green in Queenstown.

No surprise with the knighthood for Lockie. Congrats to Sir Lockwood and Lady Smith.

A popular knight I suspect with Sir Gordon Tietjens, or Sir Titch as he will probably be known. A legendary coach for the Sevens. They’ve won ten titles, one rugby world cup and four commonwealth gold medals under him.

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New Year Honours

December 31st, 2012 at 7:47 am by David Farrar

The full list is at DPMC. Two new Dames.

DNZM

To be Dames Companion of the said Order:

The Honourable Justice Judith Marjorie Potter, CBE, of Auckland. For services to the judiciary.

Ms Wendy Edith Pye, MBE, of Auckland. For services to business and education.

Potter has a distinguished legal career. Dame Wendy Pye’s honour is well deserved.  Her education business (yes how evil – a private company making money out of education) has helped illiterate children learn English around the world (and here), and has also been an export earner for New Zealand.

KNZM

To be Knights Companion of the said Order:

Mr Owen George Glenn, ONZM, of Auckland. For services to philanthropy.

Mr Robert Anster Harvey, QSO, of Auckland. For services to local body affairs and the community.

Mr Paul Scott Holmes, CNZM, of Hastings. For services to broadcasting and the community.

The Honourable Justice Mark Andrew O’Regan, of Wellington. For services to the judiciary.

Mr Julian Stanley Smith, OBE, of Dunedin. For services to business.

Mr Mark Wiremu Solomon, of Christchurch. For services to Māori and business.

Mr Mark James Todd, CBE, of Swindon, United Kingdom. For services to equestrian sport.

Seven knights here. Justice O’Regan has also had a distinguished career. Sir Owen Glenn has had his share of controversy, but he has been a very generous donor to many NZ causes and is currently putting a lot of time and energy into initiatives to reduce child abuse. He has of course also had a stellar business career.

Bob Harvey is a former Labour Party President, but his service in local body politics sees him as Sir Bob. No one can say that this National Government has discriminated in their honours. In June Cullen also got knighted!

A lovely tribute to Sir Paul Holmes, as 2012 was his final year as a broadcaster. He changed NZ broadcasting. He has also been a vigorous supporter of many good causes such as the NZ Paralympics team.

Sir Julian Smith is the effective owner of the ODT, which has been with his family for five generations. A prominent businessman in Dunedin.

Sir Mark Solomon is Ngai Tahu’s Chairman, and Ngai Tahu have continued to grow and prosper.

And Sir Mark Todd needs no introduction. A legend who won’t give up.

Also congrats to John Slater for his ONZM for services to the community. John, with support from Margaret, has spent decades supporting charitable organisations such as Presbyterian Support Services.

Lester Levy’s CNZM also well deserved. Has made a huge contribution to the health system. Also Anthea Simcock’s ONZM for her pioneering work as a child abuse educator.

Vicki Hyde gets a MNZM for services to science, and hopefully debunking frauds as a sceptic.

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The Jubilee Honours

June 4th, 2012 at 9:38 am by David Farrar

The full list is at DPMC.

There are four appointments to the Order of New Zealand:

  • Dame Margaret Bazley
  • Dame Malvina Major
  • Sir Peter Jackson
  • Prince Philip

The first three all recognise people who have excelled in their field of endeavour. The last I guess is a present for the Queen on her diamond jubilee. I understand the rationale but don’t agree with it. The Order of New Zealand should be for New Zealanders or at least people who have done something significant for New Zealand.

Then seven Dame or Knight Commanders:

  • Michael Cullen, services to the State
  • Rod Deane, services to business and the community
  • John Kirwan, services to mental health and rugby
  • Mabel Mariu, services to Maori and the community
  • Pieter Stewart, services to fashion and the community
  • Beverley Wakem, services to the State
  • Maarten Wevers, services to the State

Congrats to all those honoured. When I read the list on Friday, via the No Right Turn blog, I exclaimed with delight at John Kirwan getting a knighthood. His leadership in the area of mental health has been inspirational, and made a real difference to many New Zealanders.

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The 2012 New Years Honours

December 31st, 2011 at 8:22 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald has the full list. The top honours are:

Order of New Zealand

Ralph Hotere, Artist

Knight and Dame Companions of the NZ Order of Merit

  • Dame Roseanne Meo, for services to business
  • Dame Susy Moncrieff, for services to arts (World of Wearable Arts)
  • Sir Father Des Britten, for services to the community (Wellington Downtown Ministry)
  • Sir Colin Giltrap, for services to motorsport and philanthropy
  • Sir Graham Henry, for services to rugby
  • Sir John Todd, for services to business

Noty a bad mixture of arts, community, sport and business.

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Know your place Prime Minister

December 16th, 2011 at 3:48 pm by David Farrar

John Hartevelt blogs:

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.

I’m gob-smacked.

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.

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Mallard on Titular Honours

June 8th, 2011 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Claire Trevett at the NZ Herald reports:

One of the senior Labour politicians who abolished knighthoods in 2000 now says the party moved too soon to do so and was not supported by many New Zealanders.

I agree. I’m a republican, but I also support titular honours. They can exist whether the Queen is Head of State or not.

Mr Mallard said yesterday he did not believe New Zealand should have titular honours but Labour moved to abolish them too early.

“In time, like the monarchy, they will go. But I’ve got a personal view most Kiwis aren’t ready for that yet. I thought there was a trend in public opinion away from the monarchy and overseas-based honours systems – especially titular – but the feedback I had both at that time and since is that there is still a lot of public support for them.”

He said many also found the Order of Merit system Labour created to be too hard to understand.

The Order of Merit system isn’t particularly complex – it is basically the old MBE to GBE system. And in fact National created it in the late 1990s.

Labour changed the top two ranks from Knight/Dame Companion to Distinguished Companion and Knight/Dame Grand Companion to Principal Companion.

Of the 13 NZers who have the highest level of the Order of Merit, 11 have the GNZM and just two the PCNZM. Those two however have an earlier titular honour, so all 13 are Sir or Dame.

For the next level down, 106 have gone with the titular KNZM or DNZM and 11 with the non titular DCNZM.

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The QB Honours 2011

June 6th, 2011 at 1:56 pm by David Farrar

The full list is on the DPMC website.

Two dames and five knights. The top recepients are:

DNZM

To be Dames Companion of the said Order:

Mrs Rosemary Anne Horton, QSO, QSM, of Auckland. 
For services to philanthropy.

Dr Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira, CNZM, of Hamilton. 
For services to the M�ori language.

KNZM

To be Knights Companion of the said Order:

Mr David John Graham, CBE, ED, of Auckland. 
For services to education and sport.

The Honourable Justice Robert Grant Hammond, of Wellington. 
For services to the law.

Mr Graeme Thomas Harrison, of Wellington. 
For services to business.

Mr Daniel Patrick Higgins, ONZM, of Palmerston North. 
For services to philanthropy and the community.

Mr James Hay Wallace, ONZM, of Auckland. 
For services to the arts.

Only heard of three of them myself.

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The 2011 New Years Honours

December 31st, 2010 at 10:34 am by David Farrar

The full list is here.

The top honour – membership of the Order of New Zealand – goes to golfer Bob Charles. I doubt few would say he is not very worthy.

The rare senior knighthood of Grand Cross Knight goes to New Zealander of the year Ray Avery – a scientist who established Medicine Mondiale, creating affordable products to improve access to quality healthcare globally.

Alison Holst becomes Dame Alison Holst. This will add currency to the rumour that Dame Alison has been picked to become the next Governor-General.

Five Knight Companions – Justice David Baragwanath for his services as a judge. businessmen Michael Hill and Bill Gallagher, educationalist Tamati Reedy and rather deliciously James McNeish becomes Sir James. McNeish is the author of the book that advocates that David Bain did kill his parents, and why.

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2010 QB Honours

June 7th, 2010 at 6:00 am by David Farrar

The full list should be available here.

DNZM (Dame Companion of the Order)

Temuranga Batley-Jackson QSM, Manukau

For services to Maori

KNZM (Knight Companion of the Order)

Frederick Richard Allen OBE, Whangaparaoa

For services to rugby

Graeme Bruce Douglas MNZM, Auckland
For services to philanthropy and athletics

Peter Charles Leitch QSM, Bucklands Beach
For services to business and philanthropy

David Raymond Levene OBE, North Shore City
For services to business and the community

Richard Leslie Taylor ONZM, Wellington
For services to film

One dame and five knights.

I have to confess I have never heard of Dame Temuranga Batley-Jackson. Even more unusual she doesn’t tun up anywhere in Google, except the photos NZPA took of her on Sunday.

Sir Fred Allen is the 90 year old former All Black captain and coach. Under his coaching, the All Blacks won 14 out of 14 tests.

Sir Graeme Douglas set up Douglas Pharmaceuticals in 1967 while working as a community pharmacist, and it has grown to be globally successful. He is also a major benefactor to athletics.

Sir Peter Leitch needs no introduction I suspect. While most think of him as an Aucklander, he went to my old school, Rongotai College in Wellington. Arise Sir Mad Butcher.

Sir David Levene is from the firm Levene’s, where he started work in 1947. He is a benefactor of Outward Bound and the Parkinson’s Society.

Sir Richard Taylor is the most well known as head of Weta Workshop and winner of five Academy Awards.

UPDATE: Temuranga Batley-Jackson is known less formally as June Jackson, whom I (and others) have heard of. That explains the lack of Google hits.

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And the honours are …

December 31st, 2009 at 6:00 am by David Farrar

The full honours list is here.

The top honour of membership of the Order of New Zealand goes to Helen Clark. In some ways, it is no surprise, as former PMs David Lange, Mike Moore and Jim Bolger were also made ONZ, and Don McKinnon also is a member for holding high international office.

So it was inevitable Clark would be made a member, but so soon after she left office will leave a sour taste for many. One right wing friend commented:

What the fuck Farrar?  First a UN appointment now this!!!

Next Key will name a star in her fucking honour and have her face on the new flag.

Personally I’m still more upset by Cullen being appointed to an SOE Board while an MP.

We have one new Dame, and five Knights.

Aucklanders will know Dame Lesley Max well.

Professor Sir Mason Durie is one of the most prominent Maori health professionals.

Sir Peter Jackson may not have got the tax breaks he wants for the film industry, but he is now KNZM. He has said this award surpassed winning the Oscars. I suspect he would not have said this, had titles for the top honours not been restored. I am so pleased the Government did restore titles.

Sir Douglas Myers recognition is long overdue.

Justice Sir Bruce Robertson is a former President of the Law Commission and current Court of Appeal judge.

Finally it is honorary but nice to see recognition of the amazingly generous philanthropy of Sir Julian Robertson. Robertson first visited New Zealand in the 1950s to spend a year here writing a novel. He obviously fell in love with it. In May 2009 he announced the donation of $115 million of art to the Auckland Art Gallery – the single largest gift ever in Australasia.

Won’t comment on the entire list, but also worth mentioning former Auditor-General Kevin Brady who is made a CNZM. He was the public service at its finest as he stood up to Parliament and insisted that their funding of various pledge cards and the like was illegal.

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Nancy Wake

August 31st, 2009 at 11:53 am by David Farrar

Nancy Wake turned 97 yesterday.

I was very critical of the former Government’s refusal to give Wake an honour. Judith Collins did a fine job campaigning for her to be honoured.

I was hoping that she would finally be honoured in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours but she wasn’t. I hope she will be, before she dies.

For those who don’t know why Nancy Wake should be honoured, here’s an extract:

After the fall of France, she became a courier for the French Resistance and later joined the escape network of Captain Ian Garrow. The Gestapo called her the “White Mouse”. The Resistance had to be very careful with her missions as her life was in constant danger and the Gestapo were tapping her phone and intercepting her mail. By 1943, she was the Gestapo’s most-wanted person, with a 5 million-franc price on her head. …

From April 1944 to the complete liberation of France, her 7000 maquisards fought 22,000 SS soldiers, causing 1400 casualties. Her French companions, especially Henri Tardivat, praised her fighting spirit; amply demonstrated when she killed an SS sentry with her bare hands to prevent him raising the alarm during a raid.

Wake has the following honours:

  • George Medal
  • Companion of the Order of Australia
  • US Medal of Freedom with Bronze Palm
  • Légion d’honneur (the highest French decoration)
  • Croix de guerre

The NZ RSA have also given Wake their gold medal. It would be good to see the NZ Government honour her also.

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Clark’s foreign interference

August 16th, 2009 at 12:39 pm by David Farrar

Most former leaders are happy to leave their party to their successors. Muldoon was the famous exception to this, and Clark is looking it seems to join her ranks.

We already found out via The Listener that Clark is in regular, almost daily, contact with many MPs. She still has the party administration ferociously loyal to her, and now thanks to the NZ Herald we find out she is operating as a sort of party whip for former MPs:

Former prime minister Helen Clark pressured her former ministerial colleague Margaret Shields not to accept the title “Dame”.

But the former MP for Kapiti did not buckle, and this afternoon she will be invested as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. …

Helen Clark sent Mrs Shields a letter setting out why Labour had abolished the titles and saying she hoped she would not accept one. …

Helen Clark, now Administrator of the United Nations Development Fund, is in New Zealand on holiday but could not be reached for comment.

But she is understood to have been deeply disappointed that Dame Margaret and some others to whom her Government awarded high non-titular honours had accepted titles.

I’m staggered by this. To have the former PM writing letters to previous recipients trying to pressure them into turning down the titles is just so petty. You think she would have better things to do with her time.

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72 of 88 go for titles

August 1st, 2009 at 7:03 am by David Farrar

The Government has announced 72 of 88 recipients of top honours have chosen to go with the titular version. So some of the more well known new knights and dames are:

  • Sir Lloyd Geering
  • Sir Ralph Ngatata Love
  • Sir Russell Coutts
  • Sir Ed Durie
  • Sir Eion Edgar
  • Sir Wira Gardiner
  • Sir Douglas Kidd
  • Sir Colin Meads
  • Sir Ralph Norris
  • Sir Peter Snell
  • Sir Archie Taiaroa
  • Sir Tumu te Heuheu
  • Sir Stephen Tindall
  • Dame Lynley Dodd
  • Dame Lois Muir
  • Dame Claudia Orange
  • Dame Jennifer Shipley
  • Dame Sukhi Turner
  • Dame Margaret Clark

As I have blogged previously I am a fan of titles for our top honours. It makes them meaningful, and is in the same traditions as academia where top scholars are titled Doctor if they get a PhD and top acadamics are titled Professor if they are appointed to a Chair.

One additional change I would have liked (as does Dean Knight who has blogged extensively on this) the Government to have done, is to allow the recipients to choose to have their title in English or Maori (both being official languages. The Maori versions are Tā and Kahurangi and allowing those as options would make the system uniquely New Zealand combining both our British and Maori heritage.

I stress I do not advocate replacing the English titles with the Maori ones. It is about allowing the recipient to choose their preferred title. I see that as a win-win and am surprised the Government did not go down that track. I know the Maori Party were (not surprisingly) supportive as Dean and I talked to them about the idea.

Such an option would have probably seen quite a few of the 14 who did not move to the titular honour, do so.

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Queens Birthday Honours

June 1st, 2009 at 9:06 am by David Farrar

The full list is on the DPMC website.

Sir John Walker is a household name, and most will know of Dame JennyGibbs.

Dame Iritana Tawhiwirangi is the founder of the Kohango Reo movement, so is honoured for her services to Maori education.

MFAT CEO Simon Murdoch gets a CNZM, as does former Commerce Commission Chair Paula Rebstock and well known businessman John Todd. Plus several others who I am less familiar with.

ONZMs include Murray Deaker (sports broadcaster), Robin Judkins (Coast to Coast organiser, Rpger Moses (Wellington College Principal), and Stephen Levine (VUW Professor).

I see Kiwiblog regular Ross Miller, JP get a MNZM for his community service. Well done Ross. Other MNZMs are Robin Oliver (tax policy guru at IRD), John Morrison, and Irene van Dyk.

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Political Trivia Quiz of the Day?

March 10th, 2009 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Which MP will be eligible to title herself as “Lady” if her husband changes his DCNZM for a KNZM?

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Four editorials on Titular Honours

March 10th, 2009 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

All four major dailies (sorry Waikato Times does not qualify :-)) have editorials today on restorying titles to our top honours, and opinion is mixed.

The NZ Herald says they still have a place:

They may sound quaintly English nowadays, and no sizeable Commonwealth country outside of Britain uses them any more, but knighthoods still have a place in New Zealand. The previous Government did away with them without a clear mandate to do so and its decision always rankled with a large section of the community. In their eight years’ absence, equivalent non-titled honours have not caught the public imagination. The loss was noticed every Queen’s Birthday and New Year.

National’s reinstatement of the titles appears to be broadly popular, so much so that it is a wonder the party did not declare its intentions loudly before the election.

The Dom Post declares medieval titles make no sense:

The change is intended to confer greater status on honours recipients. Holders of the titles introduced by the Clark government do not enjoy the same recognition as those who were made knights and dames under the old system.

But to address one anomaly, Mr Key has created another. He has reinstated a quaint, antiquated system that has no relevance in 21st-century New Zealand. …

Each year New Zealand grows more confident and more secure in its unique identity. Inevitably it will become a republic. It makes no sense to revive an antiquated system that has its roots on the other side of the world.

The Press agrees with the Dom Post, calling them Outdated Titles.

The Government’s decision to unilaterally reintroduce the titles of knights and dames is a retrograde step, one totally out of kilter with New Zealanders’ sense of egalitarianism.

Although the revamped honours will still be a New Zealand, rather than a British system, it will still have connotations of colonial times, and that has no place in our society as New Zealand moves forward in the 21st century as a confident and independent nation.

The ODT sits on the fence somewhat but mildly supportive:

While many will welcome reversion to an honours system recognising society’s special contributors with the familiar titles of “Sir” and “Dame”, it is less obvious the move has been thoroughly thought-out, let alone discussed in any meaningful fashion with either the country or the Parliament.

It has become clear since the system was changed and the titles abolished in 2000 by Helen Clark and the Labour-led government that the replacements have failed to excite the imagination and thus, arguably, have contributed to a de facto demotion in their social and cultural significance.

If people are going to be recognised for their good and public-spirited works, then it should be with a title or honour that has resonance. …

But whether celebrating success in 21st-century New Zealand requires a wholesale reversion to “Knight and Dame Companions”, at the pleasure of the Queen, others may find debatable.

Mr Key and his Government obviously think so and, as is their prerogative, have made a decisive intervention.

Whether it stands the test of time only time itself will tell.

So that is 2-2 in the editorials!

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Queen honours McKinnon

March 10th, 2009 at 8:32 am by David Farrar

The Queen has appointed former Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon as a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.

Membership of the Royal Victorian Order is at the personal discretion of the Queen – she does not act on advice from the British or NZ PM for these awards. The GCVO is the top award in the order – they have MVO, LCO, CVO, KCVO and then GCVO. They are given for personal service to the Sovereign.

The only title more senior to GCVO, that is in the Queen’s discretion, is the KG – Knight of the Garter which is limited to 20 living people, and Sir Ed Hillary had. Sir Paul Reeves and Dame Cath Tizard are the only other NZers (I think) who are GCVO.

Anyway, hearty congratulations to Sir Don for his award.

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Titles are back

March 8th, 2009 at 3:46 pm by David Farrar

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.

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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 honours.

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