Kōrero: Royal honours system

Whārangi 3. Queen’s service, bravery and Antarctic honours

Ngā whakaahua

The Queen’s Service Order

Membership of the Queen’s Service Order (QSO) is awarded for valuable voluntary service to the community, meritorious and faithful services to the Crown, or similar services within the public sector, whether in elected or appointed office. Membership of this order is for civilians only. Established in 1975, the order’s name commemorates Queen Elizabeth II being designated the first ‘Queen of New Zealand’.

Ordinary members of the order are called ‘companions’. Ordinary membership is limited to 50 appointments each year. The order also allows for extra, honorary and additional companions, the queen as sovereign of the order and the governor-general as principal companion of the order.

The Queen’s Service Medal

The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM), a civilian medal, is associated with the QSO, though not part of it – it is awarded for similar achievements but at a local or regional level rather than national level. There is no annual limit to awards of the medal.

New Zealand bravery awards

New Zealand’s bravery awards acknowledge people who save or try to save the life of another person, placing their own safety or life at risk. Generally the awards are for civilians, but they may be awarded to military personnel when a gallantry or other award would not be appropriate.

  • The New Zealand Cross (NZC) rewards acts of great bravery in situations of extreme danger.
  • The New Zealand Bravery Star (NZBS) is awarded for acts of outstanding bravery in situations of danger.
  • The New Zealand Bravery Decoration (NZBD) is given for acts of exceptional bravery in situations of danger.
  • The New Zealand Bravery Medal (NZBM) recognises acts of bravery.

New Zealand Antarctic Medal

The New Zealand Antarctic Medal (NZAM) was created in 2006 as the New Zealand equivalent of the British Polar Medal. It is awarded for an outstanding contribution to exploration, scientific research, conservation, environmental protection or knowledge of the Antarctic region; or an outstanding contribution in support of New Zealand’s objectives or operations in the Antarctic region. The front of the medal shows the queen; the back features four emperor penguins in front of Mt Erebus.

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Mandy Wong, 'Royal honours system - Queen’s service, bravery and Antarctic honours', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/royal-honours-system/page-3 (accessed 17 September 2019)

Story by Mandy Wong, published 20 Jun 2012