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New Zealand Gallantry and Bravery Awards

Eight gallantry and bravery awards were instituted by New Zealand in 1999, replacing over 20 British gallantry and bravery awards such as the Victoria Cross, the George Cross, the Military Cross and the Mention in Despatches. The creation of these awards was the final major element in the development of a distinct New Zealand Royal honours system.

The four gallantry awards (the Victoria Cross for New Zealand, the New Zealand Gallantry Star, the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration, and the New Zealand Gallantry Medal) recognise military personnel who carry out acts which put their lives at risk while involved in warlike or non-warlike operational service (including peacekeeping operations).

The four bravery awards (the New Zealand Cross, the New Zealand Bravery Star, the New Zealand Bravery Decoration, and the New Zealand Bravery Medal) are primarily designed for civilians who put their lives at risk while saving or attempting to save the life of another person, however they may be awarded to military personnel where a gallantry award is not considered appropriate. All of the gallantry and bravery awards may be awarded posthumously.

In New Zealand, ‘Gallantry’ is defined as enduring great danger during warlike or non-warlike operational service, including peacekeeping, usually in the presence of the enemy, in an admirable and commendable manner.

‘Bravery’ is defined as saving or attempting to save the life of another person in the course of which they place their own life at risk.

Additional information to that contained within this website, including the Guide to Nominations for New Zealand Gallantry Awards can be found on the New Zealand Honours Unit (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) website.

Media Statements concerning the New Zealand Gallantry and Bravery Awards

Recipients of the New Zealand Gallantry and Bravery Awards

Information (including the award citations) on New Zealand military personnel who have been awarded New Zealand gallantry and bravery awards since 1999 can be accessed through the links provided below.

Information (including the award citations) on all New Zealanders who have been awarded the New Zealand Cross and the New Zealand Bravery Star is also provided on this website.

Information (including the award citations) on non-New Zealand Defence Force personnel who have been awarded the New Zealand Bravery Decoration or the New Zealand Bravery Medal is available in the New Year's, Queen's Birthday, and Special Honours Lists since 1995 section of the New Zealand Honours Unit (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) website. In particular, see the Special Honours List 1999, the Special Honours List 29 January 2005, the Special Honours List 14 October 2006, the Special Honours List 3 May 2008, the Special Honours List 2 April 2011, the Special Honours List 2 December 2013 and the Special Honours List 23 June 2014.

Link to Category Ribbons

The Ribbons of the New Zealand Gallantry and Bravery Awards can be viewed here.

First world war and Second world war

Information on how to find the citations for gallantry awards to New Zealand military personnel for acts of gallantry during the First and Second World Wars can be found here.