From its birth as a British colony in 1840, New Zealand adopted the Honours and Awards of its mother country, Britain. Prior to the Second World War all medals awarded to New Zealanders were British in origin. It is only in the years since the war that a unique New Zealand Honours and Awards system has emerged.
The medals in this website have been grouped into fourteen distinct categories in an attempt to differentiate between those awards which are British in origin and those which are unique to New Zealand. As a result campaign and war medals will be found in both “New Zealand Campaign Medals” and "British Commonwealth War and Campaign Medals Awarded to New Zealanders”. Similarly, state orders and orders of chivalry will be found under the separate categories of British and New Zealand State Orders. “United Nations” and “Foreign Campaign Medals Awarded to New Zealanders” have also been featured recognising the fact that New Zealand military personnel have become increasingly involved in peacekeeping and international coalition operations since the end of the Second World War.
Medal ribbons grouped by category can be viewed here