New Zealand State Honours - Companion of the Queen’s Service Order (QSO)
About the Queen's Service Order
The Queen's Service Order (QSO) was instituted by New Zealand in 1975 to supplement British honours. The QSO is a single-class New Zealand Order. It arose out of a desire to recognise voluntary service to the community and also elected or appointed public office. Its membership is restricted to no more than 30 appointments each year. Persons appointed to the QSO are styled "Companions", and are entitled to use the post nominal letters 'QSO' after their names. Military personnel are not eligible for appointment to this Order as a result of their military service, however, community service performed in a civilian capacity can be recognised.
Between 1975 and May 2007, the QSO was divided into two sub-divisions: “for Community Service” to recognise voluntary service to the community, and “for Public Services” to recognise service through elected and appointed office. This distinction was removed on 21 May 2007. At this time the design of the badge of the QSO was slightly amended to reflect the changes. The effigy of The Queen is now the same as that used on other New Zealand medals, and the inscriptions on the badge of the Order now read “FOR SERVICE” and “MŌ NGA MAHI NUI. A 1975 to May 2007 QSO is shown on this page.
More information on the Queen's Service Order is available at the New Zealand Honours Secretariat website.
The Queen's Service Order also has an associated medal: the Queen's Service Medal (QSM).
About the ribbon
The ribbon is 36 mm in width. It has narrow red ochre (kokowhai) edges with a centre of alternating stripes of red ochre, white and black descending step pattern from left to right. The design is based on the Maori Poutama (stepped) pattern used in Tukutuku wall panels. It is usually interpreted as the “stairway to heaven”, but in this case alludes to “steps of service”.
The same ribbon is worn with the Queen's Service Medal (QSM).
All New Zealand State Honours are instituted under a Royal Warrant signed by Queen Elizabeth II as the Queen of New Zealand. More information on New Zealand State Honours is available at the New Zealand Honours Secretariat website.
State Honours do not usually have separate Regulations. Instructions for the administration of the Order or Honour are usually included in the Royal Warrant. The composite document containing the Royal Warrant and Instructions is usually referred to as the Statutes of the Order.
Clasps and Bars
There are no clasps or bars associated with this honour.
Order of Wear
The position of this honour in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.
Media Statement concerning the Queen's Service Order
- 21 May 2007 - Changes to QSO and QSM Honours affect Governor-General