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 🙂