Cabinet Manual

 

General

1.52The New Zealand Royal Honours System provides a way for New Zealand to thank and congratulate people who have served their communities and to recognise people's achievements. Military achievements may also be honoured in this way. Further information on all aspects of the honours system is available on the Honours Secretariat's website, www.honours.govt.nz.

1.53The New Zealand Royal Honours System comprises:

  1. the Order of New Zealand (ONZ);
  2. the New Zealand Order of Merit (NZOM);
  3. the Queen's Service Order (QSO) and its associated Queen's Service Medal (QSM);
  4. New Zealand Gallantry Awards (four awards);
  5. New Zealand Bravery Awards (four awards);
  6. the New Zealand Antarctic Medal (NZAM);
  7. the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD).

1.54New Zealand Royal Honours are conferred by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister. They are usually announced in regular honours lists on the New Zealand observance of the Sovereign's Birthday (the first Monday in June) and at the New Year (30-31 December). Gallantry and bravery awards are usually announced in special honours lists.

Administration

1.55The New Zealand Royal Honours System is administered by the Honours Secretariat, which is part of the Cabinet Office. The Secretariat is also responsible for all matters relating to:

  1. New Zealand Royal Honours for non-New Zealand citizens;
  2. use of the titles "The Right Honourable" and "The Honourable";
  3. acceptance of foreign honours by New Zealand citizens.

Nominations

1.56Any person may make a nomination for an honour by completing the appropriate nomination form or by writing to either the Prime Minister or the Honours Secretariat. A Cabinet committee chaired by the Prime Minister considers all nominations for the regular honours lists, based on a consolidated list of nominations prepared by the Honours Secretariat.

1.57Nominations for the Queen's Birthday honours list and the New Year honours list can be sent to the Honours Secretariat at any time.  There is no deadline.

1.58Further information about the process for nominating someone for an award can be found on the Honours Secretariat's website, www.honours.govt.nz.

New Zealand Royal Honours for non-New Zealand citizens

1.59Citizens of Commonwealth countries that have the Queen as Head of State may be nominated for New Zealand honours in the usual way.

1.60Citizens of countries that do not have the Queen as Head of State may be considered for honorary awards. Nominations should be made on the standard nomination forms.

"The Honourable"

1.61The Governor-General and former Governors-General are entitled to use the title "The Honourable" (abbreviated to "The Hon") if they do not already have the title "The Honourable" or "The Right Honourable". This entitlement is retained for life.

1.62The title "The Honourable" may be used by the following (if they do not already have the title "The Right Honourable") while in office:

  1. Prime Minister;
  2. members of the Executive Council;
  3. Speaker of the House of Representatives;
  4. Chief Justice;
  5. Judges of the Supreme Court;
  6. Judges of the Court of Appeal;
  7. Judges of the High Court.

1.63On relinquishing office, or on retirement from office, the holders of the offices listed in paragraph 1.62 are eligible to be recommended for retention of the title for life. The Governor-General may approve the retention of the title under authority delegated by the Sovereign and on the advice of the Prime Minister.

1.64Further information about the titles "The Right Honourable" and "The Honourable" is available from the Honours Secretariat.

Acceptance of foreign honours by New Zealand citizens

1.65Commonwealth and other foreign governments or international organisations may on occasion wish to confer an honour on a New Zealand citizen. The Queen has approved rules relating to the acceptance and wearing of foreign honours by New Zealand citizens. These rules are available on the Honours Secretariat's website, www.honours.govt.nz.

1.66Enquiries should be directed to the Director of the Honours Secretariat or the Protocol Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.