March 11

Titles: NZ possibilities, stampede by ex-NSW politicians


Titles are in the news on both sides of the Tasman. DD McNicoll reports in his Strewth column in The Australian on 11 March.  In ‘Arise, Sir Sam’ he says: 

“Sharp-eyed readers who have perused the lists of those exalted Kiwis who have been honoured by being made either principal or distinguished companions under the New Zealand honours system, report that a couple of local residents may be contemplating the offer of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to upgrade to knighthoods. Ralph James Norris, now chief executive and managing director of the Commonwealth Bank but also NZ executive of the year in 1997 and 2004, is one. Sir Ralph has a nice ring to it. The other is the noted thespian Nigel John Dermot Neill. Strewth wonders whether he will opt for Sir Nigel or Sir Sam.”

[ Another title: Sam Neill as Cardinal Wolsey ]

In ‘Honourable exceptions?’ he tells about the stampede of former Labor ministers seeking a title from the Crown:

“Meanwhile, on the local titles front, NSW Premier Nathan Rees performed a neat sidestep when questioned yesterday over allegations he attempted to block some former ministers from retaining the honorific, the honourable. Former premier Morris Iemma, former planning minister Frank Sartor and former health minister Reba Meagher have all recently been granted the use of "the hon" for life. But Sydney's The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday that Rees had refused to forward their applications to NSW Governor Marie Bashir for approval until a number of his cabinet colleagues pressured him to change his mind. Asked yesterday why he first blocked the applications, Rees sidestepped. ‘The fact of the matter is that I referred it off to the Governor,’ Rees grumbled. “ 


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