Three Services as one force, being the best in everything we do  

New Zealand State Honours - The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM)

Obverse View

The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) obverse view

Reverse View

The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) reverse view

About the Queen’s Service Medal

The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) was instituted by New Zealand in 1975, at the same time as the Queen’s Service Order (QSO).  The purpose of both the QSO and the QSM is to recognise voluntary service to the community and also elected or appointed public office. Up to 60 awards of the QSM can be made each year and recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters 'QSM' after their names. Military personnel are not eligible to be awarded the QSM for their military service, however, community service performed in a civilian capacity can be recognised by the award of the QSM.

Between 1975 and May 2007, the QSM 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 QSM 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 medal now reads “FOR SERVICE” and “MŌ NGA MAHI NUI. Images of a 1975 to May 2007 QSM are shown on this page.

More information on the Queen's Service Medal is available at the New Zealand Honours Unit website.

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 Order (QSO).

Royal Warrant

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 Unit 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 for this medal.

Order of Wear

The position of this medal in the Wearing of Medals in New Zealand Table can be viewed here.

Media Statement concerning the Queen's Service Medal

Lists of Recipients

Lists of recipients since 1995 of the Queen’s Service Medal are published on the New Zealand Honours Unit website.

A list of the recipients in 1975 and 1976 was published in Phillip P. O'Shea, Honours, Titles, Styles, and Precedence in New Zealand. (1977) (see pp.182-184).


Lists of recipients between 1975 and 1994 are available online on:

1) The Gazette: . Search the London Gazette using the date of announcement and/or publication of the Honours List in the London Gazette.

For example, the New Zealand New Year Honours List 1987 is viewable (in five separate pdf files) at: (p.33) (p.34) (p.35) (p.36) (p.37)

For more information on awards and accreditations in The Gazette see: - 'A Personal and National Record of Achievement: awards and accreditations in The Gazette' (includes the London Gazette, the Edinburgh Gazette and the Belfast Gazette)


2) Most of the New Zealand Honours Lists since 1975 are also available as text on Wikipedia.

For example, see for the text of the New Zealand New Year Honours List 1987.

Each Wikipedia entry also provides a link to the first page of the relevant London Gazette announcement, from which the other pages can be accessed.

It is not known who added this large amount of information about New Zealand Honours Lists to Wikipedia.

Please note that the Wikipedia lists are not authoritative and any data should be checked against the original source: the New Zealand Gazette (available online for awards since 1993) or the London Gazette.