Nothing like a Dame – or Knight

John Key said if National’s in government they might review the honours system.

In this week’s edition of The Listener, Key says he preferred the old honours system of knighthoods and damehoods, to the present system where the top honour is the Order of New Zealand.

“The aspect of titles that I personally liked is that you could celebrate success in New Zealanders and you can’t always do that with this [new] system,” he said.

Key said changing the honours system was not something he would do in his first week but “down the track we could have a look at that, have a review”.

The Sunday Times asked people recognised under both systems and found they supported titles.

The egalitarian in me balks at hereditary titles, but I am more warmly disposed to those people have earned.

There may be arguments about some who’ve got honours but they are the exceptions because most are deserved.

I had the privilege of sitting on a board with Sir Robin Gray and recently had dinner with friends where Sir Brian Lahore was also a guest. Both enhance the honour rather than the reverse and I think that is true for most recipients.

However, whether or not titles are reintroduced I would like a change to the current system which few understand.

If we’re going to have our own honours we should make them properly our own and award our brightest and best the Order of the Kiwi.

That would be a fittingly New Zealand way of honouring someone without getting too effusive because the recipients would then be Jo (or Joe) Bloggs OK 🙂

6 Responses to Nothing like a Dame – or Knight

  1. pdm says:

    I am 100% in favour of reinstating The Quees honours.


  2. JC says:

    I prefer the Queen’s honours. No disrespect to ours, but I like the international and outward looking flavour of the Queen’s. Speaks strongly of the Anglosphere.



  3. Lewis Holden says:

    We still have the “Queen’s” honours, the Queen being the Queen in Right of New Zealand – unless Key is proposing reinstating British Imperial honours, which I doubt. It sounds more like he’s proposing reinstating titular honours – e.g. Sir or Dame.


  4. toms says:

    Nothing like a bit of backward looking Tory colonial cringe, eh? Still it is in keeping with the neo-colonial branch office economy that is the National Party vision for New Zealand.


  5. Andrew D says:

    By order of the Kiwi do you mean the Order of New Zealand? It’s our highest honour, and is in principal awarded to our best and brightest. Some (well at least one) of the current government’s decisions on who to give that to have been pretty shameful, though Lahore is a member. This is the highest honour we have, higher than the old knighthoods which have had the titles taken away from them so that no one now understands the system.

    As for reinstating titular honours specifically we can do that without returning to the old Honours system and I think it would be a great idea to do so. Dean Knight even has a bill drawn up


  6. […] When this change was mooted last October I wrote: […]


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