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British Commonwealth State Orders

These traditional British Orders of Chivalry have been progressively replaced by the New Zealand Royal Honours system. They are no longer available to New Zealand citizens, however, many have received them in the past.

The top two levels of the Order of the Bath, Order of St Michael and St George, and the Order of the British Empire carry the right to use the titles ‘Sir’ or ‘Dame’ and this also applies to Knights Bachelor.

The Order of the British Empire was extensively used to recognise meritorious service by New Zealanders prior to the creation of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1996.

More information on British Commonwealth State Orders can be viewed here.

Link to Category Ribbons

The Ribbons of the British Commonwealth State Orders can be viewed here.

Lists of Appointments to the British Commonwealth State Orders

The last two New Zealand lists of appointments to the British Commonwealth State Orders are available on the New Zealand Honours Unit website:

30 December 1995 - The New Year Honours List 1996

5 June 1995 - The Queen's Birthday Honours List 1995

Earlier lists of Appointments to the British Commonwealth State Orders 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 1959 is viewable (in three separate pdf files) at: (p.41) (p.42) (p.43)

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)

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2) Most of the New Zealand Honours Lists since 1952 are also available as text on Wikipedia.

For example, see for the text of the New Zealand New Year Honours List 1959.

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.

Notes on The London Gazette announcements:

1. For civilians these include a brief description of the meritorious service being recognised. For example, 'for services to the community', or 'for services to drama'.

2. For military personnel the London Gazette announcement does not describe the service being recognised.

3. Service numbers for military personnel were normally included in the London Gazette announcement. The exception is for older honours lists, for example from the 1950s, where service numbers were not included for officers of the Royal New Zealand Navy and Royal New Zealand Air Force, but were included for other ranks (tri-Service) and for New Zealand Army officers.

List as at 1 December 1976 of living New Zealand holders of the Victoria Cross and George Cross, Members of all Orders of Chivalry (including Knights), and Orders, and Knights Bachelor

As published in Phillip P. O'Shea, Honours, Titles, Styles, and Precedence in New Zealand. (1977) - see pp.56-181. A single list sorted alphabetically by the surname of the recipient. The list covers all living holders as at 1 December 1976 of any of these awards.

The list states the year the honour was awarded and the recipient's residential address (as at 1 December 1976).

Also included in the list are those appointed to the Queen's Service Order in 1975 and 1976.