July 19

Personal knighthood for New Zealand statesman

The New Zealand statesman , Sir Don McKinnon, ONZ, GCVO has received a knighthood in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

He was the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth for eight years from 2000 to 2008 following a 21-year career in New Zealand politics. He was a Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and the country’s longest serving Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


The Queen made him a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO), an award which is in her personal gift.

Her Majesty invited Sir Don and Lady McKinnon, as well as their sons Peter and James, to sit down and chat for about half an hour. Sir Don told TVNZ that they talked about the Commonwealth as well as farming matters including cattle and horses.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, .John Key, congratulated Sir Don on the honour which is in recognition of his outstanding service as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

Mr. Key said:"Sir Donald already holds New Zealand's highest honour, the Order of New Zealand, and it is great to see his service has been personally rewarded by The Queen with the GCVO," says Key.

"Sir Donald's contribution to New Zealand is well known, and his equally important contribution to the Commonwealth has now been recognised.

Mr. Key this year announced the reinstatement of titles in the New Zealand Order of Merit and the offer of titles to existing Companions. This was widely supported and most of those eligible who did not already have a title seem to have accepted one.



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