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New Zealand Royal Honours nomination guidelines

This guide is designed to help you nominate (or re-nominate) a person for a New Zealand Royal Honour.

Honours Lists are published at New Year and on the occasion of The King’s Birthday. Special Lists are published periodically (e.g. for gallantry and bravery awards).

Who can make a nomination

Anyone can nominate a person they think is worthy of a New Zealand Royal Honour and anyone can be nominated. The nominator needs to complete a nomination form. Completed nomination forms can be sent to:

The Honours Unit
Cabinet Office
Executive Wing L10
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6011
Contact us

Once the Honours Unit has received your nomination a short citation on your nominee will be written, based on the information you provide. This will be presented to the Cabinet Appointments and Honours Committee. This committee is chaired by the Prime Minister. The formal responsibility for making recommendations to The King for the grant of honours rests with the Prime Minister or a Minister of the Crown acting for the Prime Minister.

Completing the nomination form

Please complete the nomination form completely and accurately. It is important that you provide as much factual, relevant information as possible about your nominee and the reasons for which recognition is sought.

Describe what is special about your nominee’s achievements and what they have done to deserve a New Zealand Royal Honour. Tell the story of how they have made a difference in their community or field of work and give an indication of their longevity of service. Show how they have demonstrated innovation or entrepreneurship, improved the lives of others, or exemplified selfless voluntary service.

You may list your nominee’s occupation and positions held in organisations, but be specific about the achievements that make them stand out above and beyond their peers.

Nominations should be made while the nominee is still active and, if possible, at least 12 months before they are expected to retire or stand down.

Support letters add depth to the nomination and validate your nominee’s character and achievements.

You may use additional sheets, but please ensure you include the nominee’s name on each page. Please do not send in examples of the nominee’s work such as DVDs, photographs or books.

It is not appropriate to nominate yourself for a New Zealand Royal Honour, and such nominations will not be considered.

Submitting the nomination

Nomination forms are accepted throughout the year, but the processing and consideration of nominations is likely to take at least six months prior to the announcement of an honours list at King's Birthday or New Year. Nominations have now closed for the King's Birthday Honours List 2023. You will receive a letter from the Honours Unit letting you know we have received your nomination, and informing you of the list for which your nominee will be considered.

The Honours Unit will not enter into any further correspondence on your nomination. New Zealand Royal Honours Lists are published at New Year and on The King’s Birthday in June. You will need to check the appropriate honours list at the time of its announcement, in the national newspapers and on the honours website, to see if your nomination has been successful.

If the nomination is successful, nominees are formally asked by the Governor-General, on behalf of The King, whether they accept or decline the proposed honour. Sometimes the reason your nominee does not appear on the list is that they may have declined the honour.

Making additions or changes to the information submitted

You may send additional information to support the nomination at any time. We will ensure that it is considered with the existing papers.

Please advise the Honours Unit if there have been any changes to the nominee’s personal details or any other information supplied on the nomination form. You must notify the Honours Unit immediately if your nominee dies. It is not possible for a posthumous award to be made (except for Gallantry or Bravery Awards).


The consent of the person being nominated is not required. The nominee should not be informed that they have been nominated, as it is not fair to raise expectations in case they are not met.

All nominations for honours are treated in the strictest confidence. No information regarding the nominee or the details of the nomination is divulged.

The number of honours awarded

The number of honours available is strictly limited for each list. Not everyone can receive recognition, no matter how worthy their accomplishments. It is important to realise that an honour will not automatically follow a nomination.

Renominating unsuccessful nominations

Your nominee may be considered for two honours lists; if they are not successful in either list, you may assume that the nomination has lapsed. In order for your nominee to be reconsidered, you will need to either write to or email the Honours Unit and request the nominee be reconsidered.

All previously sent information and nomination forms are kept on file at the Honours Unit. You do not need to re-submit any nomination forms, information or support letters previously sent.

If your nominee has completed more service worthy of recognition since the time you first nominated them, please inform the Honours Unit so we can update their file. Please inform us if your nominee’s personal information, such as address, has changed.

Non-New Zealand citizens

Non-New Zealanders are eligible for honorary awards.

New Zealand Bravery Awards

Nominations for New Zealand Royal Bravery Awards are made by completing a Bravery Award nomination form. Special lists for the Bravery Awards are published periodically.


Information on the honours system can be found on this website. If you have any further questions or require guidance in the preparation of the nomination, please contact the Honours Unit:

Honours Unit
Cabinet Office
Executive Wing L10
Parliament Buildings

Telephone number: (04) 830 5011
Contact us

Last updated: 
Saturday, 31 December 2022

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