New Zealand has had its own honours system since 1996. It is made up of three orders and a range of other awards. Before 1975 New Zealand used the British honours system, and between 1975 and 1996 it used a mix of British and New Zealand honours. The committee that conducted a major review of the honours system in 1995 said that it is ‘a way for New Zealand to say thanks and well done to those who have served and those who have achieved. We believe that such recognition is consistent with the egalitarian character of New Zealand society and enlivens and enriches it.’ (Quoted in 'Overview of the New Zealand royal honours system,' Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/honours/overview/index.html (last accessed 6 December 2011.))
New Zealand honours are still ‘royal’ in that they are formally approved by the queen, on the prime minister’s recommendation.
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