March 8

The Queen approves return of NZ titles


New Zealand is to restore the titles of knights and dames to its honours system, according to a report by Agence France Presse.  The titles were dropped in 2000 by the former Labour government.  The move brought criticism then that it was part of a move to turn New Zealand into a republic.

Prime Minister John Key said restoring the titles would recognise service given to New Zealand, and had the approval of Queen Elizabeth II.  "This is about celebrating success," he said. "The changes will be finalised and come into effect in time for the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June."

The eighty five New Zealanders who were appointed Principal and Distinguished Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit between 2000 and 2008 will now be given the opportunity to accept a title.

Mr. Key is to be warmly congratulated. In Australia republicans frequently accept foreign knighthoods but illogically object to Australian ones.



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