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New Zealand State Orders

Until 1974 New Zealand was a part of the British Honours and Awards system inherited from the earliest days of this country's settlement. Between 1974 and 2009 a series of changes were made to create an Honours and Awards system reflecting New Zealand's position as an independent sovereign nation.

The two highest levels of the New Zealand Order of Merit include the right to use the titles 'Sir' or 'Dame'.  These honours are the Knight or Dame Grand Companion (GNZM) and the Knight or Dame Companion (KNZM / DNZM).

Between 2000 and 2008 the award of titles was discontinued.  In 2009 the award of titles was reinstituted. The discontinuation in 2000 of titles in no way reduced the status of New Zealand Honours, and recipients of Knighthoods prior to May 2000 were entitled to continue to use the traditional titles.  In 2009 those individuals awarded the two highest levels of the New Zealand Order of Merit between 2000 and 2008 were given the option to now accept the title 'Sir' or 'Dame'.

Lists of appointments to New Zealand Orders since 1996, and lists of recipients of the Queen's Service Medal since 1995, are published on the Honours Unit, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website.  The Honours Unit also maintains a list of Principal and Distinguished Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit and Knights and Dames Rolls.


Link to Category Ribbons

The Ribbons of the New Zealand State Orders can be viewed here.