The Labour Government of 2000 was spot on with the abolition of knighthoods and damehoods normally dished out to the rich and famous. Inexplicably and foolishly, these honours were reinstated by John Key’s National Government of 2009. People can draw their own conclusions on this and the current New Year’s honours list.
Kiwis should not embrace an anachronism representing the ancient medieval British Royal honours system merely to aggrandize those who have already been rewarded for their business careers, sports and other pastimes – there is no need for unjustified embellishment. Even recent media editorials have seriously questioned who, if any, should get honours concluding those who perform selfless acts, volunteers and people whose main motivation is to help others deserve recognition. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case with politicians, bureaucrats, business leaders, professionals and sportspeople taking most of the glory. There also looks to be a gender bias appearing.
If we really must have rewards for public service, simply dish out the relatively nondescript meaningless homegrown NZ Honours like ONZ etc. I readily accept that many Kiwis generously volunteer their time and services ‘gratis’ for very good causes and it is of course very appropriate that this unselfish altruism be recognised in some way.
Regards and happy New Year.
R Paterson, Matapihi.