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The New Zealand Royal Honours system

The New Zealand Royal Honours system is a uniquely New Zealand system.  Honours are administered by the Honours Unit, which is part of the Cabinet Office. The final honours lists are approved by The King of New Zealand on the Prime Minister's advice.

The New Zealand Royal Honours system is made up of:

  • The Order of New Zealand
  • The New Zealand Order of Merit
  • The Queen's Service Order and associated Queen's Service Medal
  • The New Zealand Bravery and Gallantry Awards
  • The New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration
  • The New Zealand Antarctic Medal.

See the following document illustrating the components of the New Zealand Royal Honours system:

1.7 MB
Supplied by New Zealand Defence Force

Over the years there have also been some special or one-off awards, such as the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal, and the New Zealand Suffrage Medal 1993. 

Our honours system is a way for New Zealand to say thanks and well done to those who have served and those who have achieved. We believe that such recognition is consistent with the egalitarian character of New Zealand society and enlivens and enriches it.

Report of the Prime Minister's Honours Advisory Committee, September 1995
Last updated: 
Thursday, 6 October 2022

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