New Zealand To Restore Titles

  March 8, 2009 at 9:40 pm by

The Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, has announced the restoration of Knight and Dame titles, which were dropped by the previous Labour government in 2000. It was widely believed at the time that the replacement of these titles, which are linked to the British honours system, was a step down the road to eventual republicanism and separation from Britain.

The Knight and Dame titles were replaced by the Principal and Distinguished Companion title. Holders of these titles will have the opportunity to exchange them for Knight and Dame titles if they wish. The change is set to occur before the announcement of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June of this year.

The move, which has the approval of the Queen, has been criticised by people who believe that New Zealand’s honours system should be fully independent of the British system, but it has been welcomed by those who think the change in 2000 downgraded the meaning of the titles.

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