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New Zealand Gallantry and Bravery Awards - The New Zealand Cross (NZC)

Obverse View

The New Zealand Cross (NZC) obverse view

About the New Zealand Cross

The New Zealand Cross is similar in design to the original award of the same name instituted by the New Zealand Government in 1869. The new award was instituted by New Zealand in 1999 to replace the George Cross. The New Zealand Cross is the premier New Zealand award for bravery. It is intended primarily for civilians, but may also be awarded to military personnel in some circumstances. The New Zealand Cross is awarded for ‘acts of great bravery in situations of extreme danger'.

The New Zealand Cross is a silver cross paty or formy (with straight edges) with a six-pointed gold star on each arm. On a central disc within a wreath of gold New Zealand fern fronds are the words "NEW ZEALAND", and on the reverse the inscription "FOR BRAVERY – MO TE MAIA".  The cross is surmounted by a gold Royal Crown and attached by the letter "V" to a straight silver suspender bar bearing gold fern fronds.

Recipients of this award are entitled to use the postnominal letters N.Z.C. after their names.

To date, the New Zealand Cross has only been awarded twice (once posthumously). The two recipients are listed at the end of this webpage.

There are three other awards for bravery in the New Zealand honours system: the New Zealand Bravery Star, the New Zealand Bravery Decoration, and the New Zealand Bravery Medal.

For information on the original New Zealand Cross instituted in 1869, and a list of the recipients of the original New Zealand Cross, see The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History, edited by Ian McGibbon (published in 2000), pp.361-362.  Also see Orders, Decorations and Medals awarded to New Zealanders, by Geoffrey P. Oldham and B. Delahunt (published in 1991), pp.27-28.

About the ribbon

The bright blue ribbon is 38 mm in width.

Royal Warrant

The Royal Warrant for the New Zealand Bravery Awards (which includes the New Zealand Cross) can be viewed here.


There are no separate Regulations for this award. The administration instructions are included in the Royal Warrant.

Clasps and Bars

Bars can be awarded for subsequent acts of bravery in situations of extreme danger. The bars are made of silver, are oblong in shape, and bear two New Zealand fern fronds.

Order of Wear

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

Further Information

Further information on the New Zealand Cross is available on the New Zealand Honours Unit (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) website.

Media Statement concerning the New Zealand Cross

Recipients of the New Zealand Cross