Guest Post: Where was the diversity in our list of New Year Honours?

A guest post by John Wren:

The 2022 New Zealand Honours acknowledged and recognised around 200 citizens who had made meaningful contributions to the well-being of our country. 

On reading, I could only identify two or three names who had contributed directly to creating the wealth which fuels our society’s ability to address well-being. 

The list lacked diversity.

New Zealand as an entity is no different than the corner dairy. Its survival and growth depend upon customers purchasing products and services that more or less fall within the general categories of Food, Fibre, or Fun (tourism). New Zealand produces these products and services very well and, in many cases, we lead the world in design, quality, sustainability and reliability.

A typical dairy needs customers to purchase and continue to purchase its products – just like our country. If the customer stops purchasing, the dairy goes out of business. Customers usually stop purchasing because the price is too high, the business is unreliable, or the quality is poor. On the other hand, any business that does these things well is profitable.

So just like the corner dairy, it is only the profit from “New Zealand Inc” that can possibly create the rewards we need to fuel what we refer to as “well-being”.  The government and their supporting bureaucrats appear to be blind to how fundamental this is – as we can clearly see in their selection of the heroes who were honoured at the New Year.

The heroes we should recognise are those, who through their commitment, passion and personal risk, have built businesses that contribute to enhancing the well-being of every New Zealander.

Unfortunately, this government and its advisers don’t understand that diversity must be all-encompassing – recognising not only social, ethnic and gender but also productive wealth creation.

May we never again see an honours list that lacks diversity in its recognition   of New Zealand’s heroes. Let us see farmers, winemakers, manufacturers flower growers, game designers, hoteliers and restaurateurs represented amongst the heroes who have contributed to the well-being of all of us.

Those who deserve to be honoured are those building the foundations for our future, by creating and managing entities that produce the wealth on which we will build a vibrant New Zealand.