|New Zealand Order of Merit|
|Awarded by the monarch of New Zealand|
|Type||National order of merit|
|Motto||For Merit—Tohu Hiranga|
|Eligibility||Citizens of Commonwealth realms|
|Criteria||Meritorious service to the Crown and the nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions, or other merits|
|Sovereign||Queen Elizabeth II|
|Chancellor||Dame Patsy Reddy|
|Last induction||2020 Queen's Birthday Honours|
|Next (higher)||Order of New Zealand|
|Next (lower)||Queen's Service Order|
Ribbon of the New Zealand Order of Merit
The New Zealand Order of Merit is an order of merit in the New Zealand royal honours system. It was established by royal warrant on 30 May 1996 by Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand, "for those persons who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits",to recognise outstanding service to the Crown and people of New Zealand in a civil or military capacity.
In the order of precedence, the New Zealand Order of Merit ranks immediately after the Order of New Zealand.
Prior to 1996 New Zealanders received appointments to various British orders, such as the Order of the Bath, the Order of St Michael and St George, the Order of the British Empire, and the Order of the Companions of Honour, as well as the distinction of Knight Bachelor.The change came about after the Prime Minister's Honours Advisory Committee (1995) was created "to consider and present options and suggestions on the structure of a New Zealand Royal Honours System in New Zealand, which is designed to recognise meritorious service, gallantry and bravery and long service".
The monarch of New Zealand is the Sovereign of the order and the Governor-General is its Chancellor. Appointments are made at five levels:
From 2000 to 2009, the two highest levels of the Order were Principal Companion (PCNZM) and Distinguished Companion (DCNZM), without the appellation of "Sir" or "Dame".
The number of Knights and Dames Grand Companion (and Principal Companions) is limited to 30 living people. Additionally, new appointments are limited to 15 Knights or Dames Companion, 40 Companions, 80 Officers and 140 Members per year.
As well as the five levels, there are three different types of membership. Ordinary membership is limited to citizens of New Zealand or a Commonwealth realm. "Additional" members, appointed on special occasions, are not counted in the numerical limits. People who are not citizens of a Commonwealth realm are given "Honorary" membership; if they subsequently adopt citizenship of a Commonwealth realm they are eligible for Additional membership.
There is also a Secretary and Registrar (the Clerk of the Executive Council) and a Herald (the New Zealand Herald of Arms) of the Order.
Knight/Dames Grand Companion and Knight/Dames Companion are entitled to use the style Sir for males and Dame for females.
The order's statutes grant heraldic privileges to members of the first and second level, who are entitled to have the Order's circlet ("a green circle, edged gold, and inscribed with the Motto of the Order in gold") surrounding their shield. Grand Companions are also entitled to heraldic supporters. The Chancellor is entitled to supporters and a representation of the Collar of the Order around his/her shield.
|No.||Name||Portrait||Honour||Date of appointment||Known for||Present age|
|1|| Sir William Birch ||Knight Grand Companion||7 June 1999||38th Minister of Finance||87|
|2|| Dame Sian Elias ||Dame Grand Companion||7 June 1999||12th Chief Justice of New Zealand||72|
|3|| Sir Lloyd Geering ||Knight Grand Companion||30 December 2000||Theological scholar||103|
|4|| Dame Malvina Major ||Dame Grand Companion||31 December 2007||Opera singer||78|
|5|| Sir Ray Avery ||Knight Grand Companion||31 December 2010||Pharmaceutical scientist||74|
|6|| Sir Murray Brennan ||Knight Grand Companion||31 December 2014||Surgeon, cancer researcher & medical academic||81|
|7|| Sir John Key ||Knight Grand Companion||5 June 2017||38th Prime Minister of New Zealand||59|
|8|| Sir Stephen Tindall ||Knight Grand Companion||31 December 2018||Businessman and philanthropist||70|
| Sir Michael Hardie Boys ||Knight Grand Companion||3 June 1996||Former Governor-General||89|
| Dame Silvia Cartwright ||Principal Companion||20 March 2001||Former Governor-General||77|
| Sir Anand Satyanand ||Knight Grand Companion||5 June 2006||Former Governor-General||76|
| Sir Jerry Mateparae ||Knight Grand Companion||20 May 2011||Former Governor-General||66|
| Dame Patsy Reddy ||Dame Grand Companion||27 June 2016||Governor-General||67|
| Dame Helen Winkelmann ||Dame Grand Companion||4 March 2019||13th Chief Justice of New Zealand||59|
The following contains the names of the small number of living Distinguished Companions (DCNZM) who chose not to convert their appointment to a Knight or Dame Companion, and thus not to accept the respective appellation of "Sir" or "Dame". The majority of those affected chose the aforereferenced appellations.
|Name||Portrait||Date of appointment||Known for||Present age|
| Vincent O’Sullivan ||5 June 2000||Writer and actor||83|
| Witi Ihimaera ||7 June 2004||Writer||78|
| Penny Jamieson ||7 June 2004||Former Bishop of Dunedin||78|
| Joy Cowley ||6 June 2005||Writer||84|
| Sam Neill ||30 December 2006||Actor||73|
| Patricia Grace ||4 June 2007||Writer||84|
| Margaret Wilson ||31 December 2008||Former Speaker of Parliament||74|
A change to non-titular honours was a recommendation contained within the original report of the 1995 honours committee (The New Zealand Royal Honours System: The Report of the Prime Minister’s Honours Advisory Committee) which prompted the creation of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Titular honours were incorporated into the new system before its implementation in 1996 after the National Party caucus and public debate were split as to whether titles should be retained.
There has long been debate in New Zealand regarding the appropriateness of titles. Some feel it is no longer appropriate as New Zealand has not been a colony since 1907, and to these people titles are out of step with present-day New Zealand. Others feel that titles carry both domestic and international recognition, and that awarded on the basis of merit they remain an appropriate recognition of excellence.[ citation needed ]
In April 2000 the then new Labour Prime Minister, Helen Clark, announced that knighthoods and damehoods had been abolished and the order's statutes amended. From 2000 to 2009, the two highest levels of the Order were Principal Companion (PCNZM) and Distinguished Companion (DCNZM), without the appellation of "Sir" or "Dame"; appointment to all levels of the Order were recognised solely by the use of post-nominal letters.
A National Business Reviewpoll in February 2000 revealed that 54% of New Zealanders thought the titles should be scrapped. The Labour Government's April 2000 changes were criticised by opposition parties, with Richard Prebble of the ACT New Zealand party deriding the PCNZM's initials as standing for "a Politically Correct New Zealand that used to be a Monarchy".
The issue of titular honours would appear whenever honours were mentioned. In the lead up to the 2005 general election, Leader of the Opposition Don Brash suggested that should a National-led government be elected, he would reverse Labour's changes and re-introduce knighthoods.
In 2009, Prime Minister John Key (later to become a Knight Grand Companion himself) restored the honours to their pre-April 2000 state. Principal Companions and Distinguished Companions (85 people in total) were given the option to convert their awards into Knighthoods or Damehoods.The restoration was welcomed by Monarchy New Zealand. The option has been taken up by 72 of those affected, including rugby great Colin Meads. Former Labour MP Margaret Shields was one of those who accepted a Damehood, despite receiving a letter from former Prime Minister Helen Clark "setting out why Labour had abolished the titles and saying she hoped she would not accept one". Clark's senior deputy, Michael Cullen, also accepted a knighthood.
Appointments have continued under the Sixth Labour Government of New Zealand, the first time Labour has been in government since 2008. The 2018 New Year Honours included seven knights and dames. The government has not commented on its position regarding knighthoods and damehoods, but the Prime Minister did specifically congratulate two women on becoming Dames Companion.
The British honours system is a means of rewarding individuals' personal bravery, achievement, or service to the United Kingdom and the British Overseas Territories. The system consists of three types of award – honours, decorations and medals:
The Order of Australia is an honour that recognises Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service. It was established on 14 February 1975 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, on the recommendation of the Australian Government. Before the establishment of the order, Australian citizens received British honours.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of the order.
Sir is a formal English honourific address for men, derived from Sire in the High Middle Ages. Traditionally, as governed by law and custom, Sir is used for men titled knights i.e. of orders of chivalry, and later also to baronets, and other offices. As the female equivalent for knighthood is damehood, the suo jure female equivalent term is typically Dame. The wife of a knight or baronet tends to be addressed Lady, although a few exceptions and interchanges of these uses exist.
The Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order". He did not revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.
The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded on 4 June 1917 by King George V as a reward for outstanding achievements and is "conferred upon a limited number of persons for whom this special distinction seems to be the most appropriate form of recognition, constituting an honour disassociated either from the acceptance of title or the classification of merit."
The Order of Merit is a Commonwealth order of merit recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture. Established in 1902 by King Edward VII, admission into the order remains the personal gift of its Sovereign—currently Edward VII's great-granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II—and is restricted to a maximum of 24 living recipients from the Commonwealth realms, plus a limited number of honorary members. While all members are awarded the right to use the post-nominal letters OM and wear the badge of the order, the Order of Merit's precedence among other honours differs between countries.
The New Zealand Royal Honours system, a system of orders, decorations and medals, recognises achievements of, or service by, New Zealanders or others in connection with New Zealand. Until 1975 New Zealand used the British honours system. Since then the country has introduced a number of uniquely New Zealand honours, and as of 2018 only the dynastic British honours continue in active use in New Zealand, with the exception of the Order of the Companions of Honour.
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III.
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood established in 1896 by Queen Victoria. It recognises distinguished personal service to the monarch of the Commonwealth realms, members of the monarch's family, or to any viceroy or senior representative of the monarch. The present monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is the sovereign of the order, the order's motto is Victoria, and its official day is 20 June. The order's chapel is the Savoy Chapel in London.
The Queen's Service Order, established by royal warrant of Queen Elizabeth II on 13 March 1975, is used to recognise "valuable voluntary service to the community or meritorious and faithful services to the Crown or similar services within the public sector, whether in elected or appointed office". This order was created after a review of New Zealand's honours system in 1974. The Queen's Service Order replaced the Imperial Service Order in New Zealand.
Dame is an honorific title and the feminine form of address for the honour of damehood in many Christian chivalric orders, as well as the British honours system and those of several other Commonwealth countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, with the masculine form of address being sir. It is the female equivalent for knighthood, which is traditionally granted to males. Dame is also style used by baronetesses in their own right.
The Canadian titles debate has been ongoing since the presentation to the House of Commons of Canada of the Nickle Resolution in 1917. This resolution marked the earliest attempt to establish a Government of Canada policy requesting the sovereign not to grant knighthoods, baronetcies, and peerages to Canadians and set the precedent for later policies restricting Canadians from accepting titles from foreign countries. Dissatisfaction with the British honours system led to the gradual creation of a separate system for Canada.
Sir Anand Satyanand, is a former lawyer, judge and ombudsman who served as the 19th Governor-General of New Zealand from 2006 to 2011. He was chair of the Commonwealth Foundation for two 2-year terms, ending in December 2016. He then chaired the Commonwealth Observation Group of the National Elections of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea in 2017. In 2018, the New Zealand Government appointed him to lead the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State care and in the care of Faith-based Institutions, which is scheduled to continue until 2023. In November 2019, at the conclusion of its build-up phase, he is to step down as chair. In August 2019 he was elected to be Chancellor of the University of Waikato for a 4-year term.
A collar is an ornate chain, often made of gold and enamel, and set with precious stones, which is worn about the neck as a symbol of membership in various chivalric orders. It is a particular form of the livery collar, the grandest form of the widespread phenomenon of livery in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period. Orders which have several grades often reserve the collar for the highest grade. The links of the chain are usually composed of symbols of the order, and the badge of the order normally hangs down in front. Sometimes the badge is referred to by what is depicted on it; for instance, the badge that hangs from the chain of the Order of the Garter is referred to as "the George".
This is an incomplete list of Australians who have been appointed a knight or a dame, being entitled to be known as "Sir" or "Dame" respectively. It includes Living Australian knights and dames as well as dead appointees. The list excludes Australian baronets; they have the title Sir, but are not knights per se.
The 2009 Special Honours in New Zealand were announced in August 2009 as a result of the reinstatement of the appellations of "Sir" and "Dame" to the New Zealand Royal Honours System by passing Special Regulation 2009/90 Additional Statutes of The New Zealand Order of Merit, a legally binding regulation with the force of law in New Zealand.
Dame Temuranga Batley-Jackson,, known as June Jackson, is a New Zealand Māori activist and public servant. She was Chief Executive Officer of the Manukau Urban Māori Authority from 1986 to 2009, and a member of the New Zealand Parole Board from 1991.
The following is a list of living New Zealanders who have been appointed dames or knights.