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Out of order

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 am, June 4th, 2012 - 78 comments
Categories: class - Tags: ,

I’m not a big fan of the whole honours system, with or without knighthoods. But if you’re going to have it, make it mean something. Giving the top gong, which only 20 living people can have, to a guy whose claim to fame is marrying his second cousin and then acting like the stereotype of the elitist buffoon for 60 years is an insult to everyone who has ever earned an honour.

Oh, and good on I/S at NoRightTurn for not playing along and shutting up about who was getting the gongs after the Cabinet Office accidentally put them online early. The msm all kept mum – for no good reason that I can see, certainly nothing to do with good journalism – while I/S reported it all, despite a phone call from the Cabinet Office asking him to please be quiet.

78 comments on “Out of order”

  1. Judge Holden 1

    Giving one to Bazley for being really well paid to do her job for several decades is almost as bad.

  2. Carol 2

    I’m disgusted at this, specifically NZ honour, being given to Prance Fullup, who, as far as NZ is concerned has largely been MIA in the last 50 years.

    WHY!??

    I saw some headlines online with John Key apparently explaining why…. I’m not clicking on the article – no support for all these royal sycophantic articles in the MSM at the moment.

    Was it JohnKey’s idea to give the Prance this “honour”?

    • just saying 2.1

      Why?,
      Because some journo overseas is bound to ask the silly old coot how he feels about being named as one of Nz’s 20 greatest NZanders, and any publicity is apparently good publicity for NZCorp.
      Also, the Nats love to suck up to Royalty.
      win/win

      • prism 2.1.1

        just saying
        Key might be more devious than you thought. He might be thinking of a return on favours bestowed. Royal visits – we have Charles and Camilla in November I think. But the Queen might like to holiday at his house in Hawaii or in the wing of some friend’s mansion on a high point overlooking the sea and away from earthquakes. He could come and make some controversial comment about our quaintness etc. and get us media attention that will last and last.

        .Also the Royals have a lot of dosh and don’t bet on finance companies I should think. Perhaps we could tap him for a a quid or hundred.

        And the NACTs don’t save themselves just for the UK they also favour the USA with their attentions. Seems they like initials – I wonder when they will honour NZ with their attention.

      • Pink postman 2.1.2

        Dead right Just S,I bet Key will be bend down to his knees with the Queen . It will be an embarrassment to watch. I wonder how long it will be before he gets a Knighthood. ? What a farce it is. Im also sorry that Michael Cullen, a man I admire, has let the side down At least his wife has voiced her disproval .

        • McFlock 2.1.2.1

          Actually, that might be another reason key might not see the term out – the last thing on his “Presents from NZ People” bucket list will be an honour of some sort. I’m not sure he can rely on Lab6/Green1 delivering him that.

      • mike e 2.1.3

        Keys only chance to get a knighthood

    • Dr Terry 2.2

      Carol, of course it was! John Key personally reinstated all these specious “honours”! Cullen has happily accepted a Key knighthood (likely to turn off still more Labour voters!) Worse still are Cullen’s self-righteous denials reported in the Herald.
      I note that even a psychologist cannot resist the worn out cliche that his “honour” is “humbling” – I wonder if he could do with some personal analysis? Another recipient is unable to prevent herself assuring us that the “honour” is really for others (again, the ever repeated cliche.) Anyone worthy of Key’s awards might at least offer intelligent (even wise?) remarks (hardly possible,I guess). I am pleased to know that some people have been big enough to decline an “honour”, such as Lange and Bolger.

  3. The msm all kept mum – for no good reason that I can see, certainly nothing to do with good journalism

    Its quite understandable. They had agreed to an embargo, and weren’t going to endanger their future early receipt of such information (which allows them to prep stories in advance) simply because it was now public on the web.

  4. bbfloyd 4

    well, it’s official now….. there is no barrier low enough to stop johnny sparkles exorcising his talent for being utterly obsequious to people who he perceives as being useful to him…..

    this embarrassing decision marks the point where we have signaled the final departure from our previously respected position in world politics, into complete capitulation to the boardrooms of corporate earth….

    if this is allowed to stand…. there is going to be a rush to take australian citizenship among those already driven away…. who the hell wants to be associated with a country who’s leadership leads by the tongue?

    i feel nothing but disgust…… and i can report that i’m a long way from being alone on that score…

  5. Ad 5

    It was for Services to Comedy.

    Cullen totally deserves it – one of the very few who had a real tilt at changing the course of the country, and did it.

    Wonder when the Maori King will generate this kind of scrutiny. Utter self-reifying bullshit ripe for eradication.

    • prism 5.1

      Ad
      For goodness sake – don’t take rude swipes at the Maori king. If you want to pick on leaders that you don’t consider are performing well there are plenty without pecking away at the person and the position that mean much to Maori. It is for them to decide whether their leader is worthy of their respect.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Pop down to Henderson or Kaikohe and do a vox pop on that premise. If this site is prepared to swing at the monarchy overseas, it can stand up to local scrutiny as well.

        • prism 5.1.1.1

          Ad
          But the monarchy overseas is so wealthy and long-founded with the support of the top people in the UK. It is a different thing taking pot shots at a local leader. Have respect for Maori tradition. Each leader faces different problems but will be a point for most to combine with. And the Maori King is centred in Waikato isn’t he. Ngapuhi up north have a long background of stroppiness.

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Notice how the gongs for “services to business” stop after 2nd tier honours!
    Im very surprised at a husband and wife are honoured simultaneously, the Normans, who have the country’s biggest privately owned retail empire – Farmers, Whitcoulls, Pascoes.
    No doubt they were big donors to the National party

  7. deemac 7

    praps Phil is being honoured for NOT visiting NZ more often? we should be thankful for small mercies!

    • Jackal 7.1

      He’s probably being honoured co’s his missis is worth £17 Trillion and doesn’t pay any taxes. The £32 million for the jubilee was also paid for by the people… so surely they deserve a meaningless award given to those at the pinacle of capitalist excess.

  8. Nick 8

    Honours shouldn’t be for doing your normal job – though most of them seem to be.

    I’m not a fan of knighthoods but pleased to see that JK’s honour includes services to mental health, not just services to rugby for a coach and former player. There a lot of people on the list that are there just for doing their job (even if they did it well). Something above and beyond requires recognition, otherwise – no.

    • Ad 8.1

      +1 for Kirwan. And for all his tries in the first Rugby World Cup.

      • Bored 8.1.1

        Agreed, sure he wonders what the fuss is about: he woulld have done what he did anyay. Lets have him for AB coach, comes complete with Sir prior to any cup win.

    • higherstandard 8.2

      People like John Kirwan should be what the honours list are all about.

    • tracey 8.3

      Agree

      The business couple had nothing about community support/work in their blurb just business success. Good on them for their success, and that success has been rewarded with wealth. Frankly Helen was right to abolish the old system.

      Those who say “we have to have Sir and Dame” otherwise how will we know that someone has been honoured, I say, how do we know who the majority of those honoured are? We don’t and yet they have often served far more selflessly than those who have made money.

      Our PM has totally revealled himself as a jockstrap sniffing, celebrity chaser in hi appointment of Prince Philip as a greatest living NZer. He dishonours all the great efforts of thousands of NZers.

  9. Rodel 9

    So disappointed in Cullen. When Helen was asked if she’d accept similar she scoffed, ‘of course not.’
    What’s the opposite of integrity?

  10. Bored 10

    The hole thing is a load of bollocks, regardless of whether its some trashy right wing mate of Shonkeys like Bazley, or whether its a Hero of the Soviet Union for shovelling coal. Complete crap.

    I note John Kirwan was already a highly respected person by dint of public opinion for his good works prior to this: he will remain such regardless and that is the greater acclaim, our earned respect annd gratitude. He is one of us, not apart on a higher plane, no gong required. On the converse we see the Sainted Peter Jackson, taker of our tax funding and betrayer of workers rights…..setting himself aside from the rest, with a gong.

  11. Someone, I think it was Johnny Rotton, described the Monarchy as the biggest social welfare bludgers in the world. The sooner we get rid of the monarchy as an institution the better. We also do not need Govenors General, the Chief Justice could rule on who wins elections. Think of all the money we could save. We would no longer have to savage average class sizes …

    • higherstandard 11.1

      What drivel Greg

      If we ‘got rid of the monarchy’ we’d likely replace the HoS with a presidential type position which would be filled by some local felchtard politician who would both cost a fortune and be an unmitigated twat.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Then Key could put them on the Honours list.

      • Vicky32 11.1.2

        If we ‘got rid of the monarchy’ we’d likely replace the HoS with a presidential type position which would be filled by some local felchtard politician who would both cost a fortune and be an unmitigated twat.

        Sad but true!

        • Rodel 11.1.2.1

          Please..could some one explain why when we vote in 120 highly paid politicians do we need a ‘ head of state, GG, president or any sort of artificial so called leader?

          I’m sort of happy with elected politicians, national and local, reluctantly accepting but not enthralled with Johnny sparkles as p.m.(For god’s sake someone give him his precious night hood.. sorry that’s knighthood)…someone has to manage or govern affairs of the state__ but why oh why do we need a head of state, especially an unelected one? These people are so expensive with their residences, gardeners, drivers, housemaids, banquets and so on …and for what return?

          I’d like to be convinced by any reasoned logic why we as an independent nation need a concept such as this in the 21st century.

          • rosy 11.1.2.1.1

            Sorry, Rodel, I can’t give you any reasoned logic as to why we’d need an unelected head of state. We might need a position to run checks and balances on parliamentary democracy, but I don’t think that role should necessarily be a Head of State.

          • Matthew Whitehead 11.1.2.1.2

            In principle or in practice?

            In practice, the Governor General does two important things: Separates the head of state from the head of government, removing the pressure for the PM to preside over events of official significance, and maintains the reserve power to dissolve parliament and call a new election in cases of constitutional crisis. Some people will argue that the governor general can also act as a safeguard and refuse to sign laws, but legally speaking I don’t think that’s actually very correct, and if we wanted that sort of safeguard, the better way to do it would be to make BORA sovereign over Parliament, meaning that the courts could strike down laws that aren’t consistent with it.

            In principle, the governor general also signs laws into effect and a few other things, but these functions are relatively unimportant and could be reformed out of our constitutional conventions, and just have parliament state when laws take effect, perhaps after a certain minimum window to allow for publication and, if necessary, publicity.

            Both of the practical reasons are decent justification to keep the office. If we want to we can also reform it to move some power away from the executive or parliament as a constitutional safeguard, especially as Ministers have a very large amount of power in our government at the moment.

        • Actually many republicans would be quite happy with an appointed Governor General, if the power of appointment was moved to a super-majority vote of parliament.

          Also, the Governor General’s residence, and many of their activities, already cost a significant amount. Selecting that person ourselves wouldn’t add much to the bill, (especially if we let our representatives choose for us) and public accountability could help them use that budget a little more wisely.

          • Rodel 11.1.2.2.1

            Thankyou. I’m see the reasoning but am unconvinced by your first reply but convinced by your second.

      • tracey 11.1.3

        I’m pretty sure the hosting nation spends millions hosting a royal visit.

    • Ad 11.2

      Well Mickey, once we sent them to the Great Beige Rest Home In The Sky, would you just have a Prime Minister, or would you like president as well? Would be useful to have a check-and-balance against a Prime Minister Hide, no? And would you like the weak Israeli or German option, or something stiffer like say Venezuela?

      • mickysavage 11.2.1

        Neither ad.

        The three roles of the GG are to:

        1.  Decide who won the election
        2.  Give the royal assent to legislation
        3.  Turn up at various dos and show the flag.

        We could:

        1.  Let the Chief Justice decide who won.
        2.  Let Parliament itself decide when its legislation is coming into force.
        3.  Use anyone else, Mayors, local body politicians, Ministers, ex all blacks do this work.

        You do not need a person at the head of the pyramid. 

        • Pete George 11.2.1.1

          I fully support what you’re saying on this.

          It’s time we stood on our own as a country, in a practical sense we do that already, it’s just the old pointless figurehead thing from the other side of the world that we haven’t let go of yet. And while we did manage to let go of an archaic “honours” system it boomeranged back.

          • ochocinco 11.2.1.1.1

            Why?
            If we stand on our own, what do we have?
            If we are part of the Commonwealth, we (1) express our appreciation for the Brits who forged us into a country in the 19th century, and (2) retain our lineage through the British family back to the glories of the Reform Act, Waterloo, Magna Carta, Crecy, the laws of Alfred the Great, and perhaps even through the Romano-British back to the very first flowering of Western civilisation.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.1.1

              1.) There was a country here before the Brits turned up
              2.) Not all of us have British lineage or give a fuck about it if we do
              3.) All that history will still be there to be learned from without having to be part of the Commonwealth

            • lprent 11.2.1.1.1.2

              express our appreciation for the Brits who forged us into a country

              Piss off. There are bugger all english in my heritage and very few who’d have considered themselves to be ‘british’. It is only the bloody english who think that and usually only when they’re hammering out some rebellion in scotland, the midlands, wales, cornwell, or ireland. Many of my ancestors both eurpean and maori were here long before the idiot englsh. We built this frigging country despite much of the interference from the bloody english like Hobson, Grey and the idiotic governers of the 19th.

              Screw the English and their ‘british’ myth.

              • Socialist Paddy

                Aye

                The English did not do a thing except terrorise ordinary people who came here from the Ununited Kingdom to get away from the bastards. And they claimed all of the credit for everything that ordinary working people achieved when they got over here.

                The Monarchy and their sycophantic arse kissing supporters have nothing to claim credit for. If those bastards were not on the backs of ordinary working people so much more could be achieved.

                And just ask Tangata Whenua what they think of the gob shyte bastards who ripped them off the same way they ripped the Irish and the Scots and the Welsh off.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And just ask Tangata Whenua what they think of the gob shyte bastards who ripped them off the same way they ripped the Irish and the Scots and the Welsh off.

                  Yep, a lot of history of England is about them ripping others off – usually at gun point and then declaring themselves great and civilised.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    That’s how empire works. Conquer new territories and new resources, exploit the peripheries to the maximum, pumping wealth out of them back for the benefit of the glorious imperial centre.

                • The first people to be colonised by the English nobility/elite were the English peasantry. They were dispossessed from their land, their cultural practices were outlawed, they were starved, regularly raped and murdered and generally treated like animals.

                  It was only on the basis of a thoroughly exploited and oppressed domestic population that they were then able to move on to the second phase of colonisation (‘press-ganging’ being one of the typical ways to ‘recruit’ English youth for their role as global oppressors).

                  The English elite learnt their craft on my ancestors (all of whom are English so far as I’m aware – as I am) and continue to practice it on my relations to this day (in a late capitalist kind of way, of course).

                  While many of the Scots and Irish (and Cornish – or is that ‘English’?) who migrated here were grasping (quite rightly) the opportunity to themselves become part of the elite here, my grandfather, as a child, was part of a transient, agricultural labouring family in England, getting work where they could and spending time in the poorhouse/workhouse when they couldn’t.

                  And, btw, many Scots did quite well out of the ‘British’ Empire

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And, btw, many Scots did quite well out of the ‘British’ Empire.

                    Empires have always found it a good idea to enlist some of the locals in the oppression of other locals.

                    • From the link:

                      In Canada, Lord Mount Stephen was behind the creation of the great Canadian Pacific Railway, and other Scotsmen dominated the economy to the extent that one-third of the country’s business elite were of Scottish origin.” 
                      And;

                      The Scottish presence was also strongly evident in India. When Henry Dundas became President of the Board of Control in 1784 he ‘Scoticised’ India and through his agencies Scots came to dominate the activities of the East India Company (EIC) …
                      The first three Governor-Generals of India were Scots. Vast fortunes were made by imperial administrators and entrepreneurs.

                      And;

                      Seven of the 12 viceroys were Scottish and many Scots served as judges, district commissioners, and so on … Ceylon became synonymous with tea, a product developed by James Taylor but brought to world renown by the Glasgow businessman, Sir Thomas Lipton.

                       … Practically all the railway engines in India were built in Springburn in Glasgow. The east of Scotland was also strongly linked economically through the jute trade. Dundee became the centre of jute making in the world and the Camperdown works of the Baxter Brothers the largest mill in the world.

                      And;

                      The Scots were at the forefront of this assault on native peoples, showing themselves to be as ruthless as any other ethnic group when it came to land grabbing. This was also true in New Zealand, where the Maori population fell from around 150,000 in 1800 to 37,000 in 1872 as a result of a protracted struggle with the settlers over land rights.” 

                      While it is true that “It was English laws and civil institutions that the Scot was to uphold and live by“, Scots were not just passive locals ‘enlisted’ to oppress other locals – they were doing much of the ‘enlisting’ and were benefiting, as an elite, often to a far greater extent than local, English (and Irish) ‘enlistees’.

                      But my point is not to claim that ‘Scots were as bad as the English’.

                      It’s to point out that the pillage – which was the British Empire – wasn’t about nationality, despite all the moronic rhetoric about ‘Britishness’ or ‘Englishness’ and despite all the chinless, plummy voiced poseurs who liked to claim it was.

                      It was about what happens when concentrated power meets opportunity. 

                    • Vicky32

                      And, btw, many Scots did quite well out of the ‘British’ Empire.

                      Very true! Especially in New Zealand. It enrages me to hear the Scots-descended majority self-righteously baiting and abusing the English.

              • Vicky32

                Screw the English and their ‘british’ myth.

                Gee, thanks, as the Americans say “a whole bunch’. Not all of we English promote any ‘British myth’.
                I was surprised to learn from Gordon McLauchlan and the Herald, in that order, that 2/3rds of New Zealanders are of Scottish descent. That news explained why my sisters and I were screeched at when we started primary school to “get back to Pongolia” (and that was mild!) Battle of Culloden – it was bad enough having my Scottish descended mother re-fighting it with my English father every night, flinging his dinner at him when she felt like it… but to have a lifetime in freezing, unwelcoming New Zealand, being told to ‘sod off back to’ a place I have never been (only the middle classes get to do ‘their OE’, btw), is one life time too bloody many…

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Well then, I suspect you’re not one of the “English and their ‘british’ myth” and can probably ignore that line.

            • rosy 11.2.1.1.1.3

              Part of commonwealth doesn’t mean having the queen as head of state – India is a republic with a president as head of state and is a member of the commonwealth.

              As for how important the Commonwealth is? If the official flag hoisting is any indication in the jubilee overload is any indication, it’s not important at all. I don’t know what coverage is like in NZ (maybe they trawl through hours of footage for the seconds that are relevant to NZ), but on SkyNews UK and the BBC Commonwealth countries are severely under-represented in their head of state’s jubilee celebrations.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1.1.2

            And while we did manage to let go of an archaic “honours” system it boomeranged back.

            Yep, sure did, as soon as we got the authoritarians back in power.

        • Ad 11.2.1.2

          Check out Bowalley Road, Mickey.
          He just lets loose on the monarchy like a pit bull in a meat truck.

        • Actually, I really disagree with point (3), as it puts increased pressure on our political leaders to show up at waste-of-time, or prestigious-but-distracting events. I’d rather we had a nominal head of state to do those things, and for official, ceremonial respect for events and functions, and have the head of government do the serious stuff. Sending an ex-All Black to represent us at the Olympic Games doesn’t really have the same gravitas as sending the head of state.

          • Murray Olsen 11.2.1.3.1

            If we are indeed represented at the Olympic Games, it’s by our sportspeople, not some outdated relic of the days when we were a Pacific outpost of Mother England. I’m always amused that the same idiots who screeched “Politics has no place in sport!” in defence of their bonding sessions with the Boers, are all too happy to accept corporate seats and junkets to sporting events purely on the basis that they are politicians.
            Queenie and Princie are hideous relics and the sooner we step out from under their shadows the better.

            • Puddleglum 11.2.1.3.1.1

              Queenie and Princie are hideous relics and the sooner we step out from under their shadows the better.

              Exactly.  I wouldn’t put it so personally though. Elizabeth and Philip are products of a warped social structure that is long since past its use by date – if it ever had any legitimacy to begin with. Yet, there but for the grace of God …

              There was a good piece in Monday’s The Press lifted from a Times columnist, Philip Collins, titled ‘Pity the Poor Republican’. Unfortunately, being from The Times I can’t link directly to it (I don’t think). It began like this:

              It was the prime minister (David Cameron) who made me crack. ‘‘My weekly hour with the Queen is vital because I get to draw on all those qualities; her knowledge, her commitment, her time-tested wisdom,’’ he crawled, Uriah Heeping on the praise. ‘‘Above all she has an abundance of what I’d call great British common sense . . .’’ Oh come on, man, pull yourself together. You’re the prime minister, for goodness sake. There’s no need to abase yourself.” 

              It got better.
               

              • Carol

                But the fact that public school boy Cameron, values her, shows how the aristocratic structure is still pretty much in place.

                • Yes, aristocratic ‘cache’ is still leveraged by the ‘aspiring elite’. 

                  Which is one reason why I oppose honours.

                  • Carol

                    Yes, aristocratic ‘cache’ is still leveraged by the ‘aspiring elite’.

                    caché?

                    indeed. T’is why our dear leader likes to front up to royal events, event though he prefers aligning himself with the US moneyed classes.

                    He probably hopes some of the born-to-rule caché of the Brit aristocracy will rub off on him, and reassure him that he deserves such status himself.

                    • Vicky32

                      caché?

                      No, it’s cachet! 🙂

                      (BTW, what’s happened to the reply box? One can’t quote properly..)

  12. Tiger Mountain 12

    sod ’em, the “cuddlie wuddlie” ‘they’re not so bad factor’ is increasingly coming to apply to Queenie.
    Queenie was right up Thachter, Reagan and Pinochets rear ends, not to mention H Block. Rotten in all his idiocy got it right in that infamous pistols song, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqrAPOZxgzU&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=AL94UKMTqg-9BnZU2mQgFtaBXiMsyTmGaX

    and Motorheads Lemmys lite version is pretty good too because the engaged a Liz impersonator.
    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DsnyjRd93HBs%26ob%3Dav2e&h=wAQHMNzP4AQEJEL8SAL4b3aFuTGHWl5vZZQEMUTnl5yDk4Q&enc=AZOJFg8lpxVLNCIsKYHL8e72hqC_MQJuXltzYZt2-Z3WO3jzSk4veKMEuRCTtdzFDFNamPgEzYnHRbgJqXnyppV4

  13. ochocinco 13

    I have no issue with Prince Phillip getting a gong.

    However, Rod Deane? For what? Destroying thousands of lives by cutting costs and sacking people?

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Deserves the Highest Tory Honours, in other words.

      • ochocinco 13.1.1

        You keep associating “Tory” with “neo-liberalism”. It’s disturbing. No conservative worth his/her salt would ever align themselves with the sort of Rogernomics practised by Deane and co.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          Yeah that’s a fair call.

          Its a shame that the National Party has long been run by the neoliberals. And its a shame that old fashioned rural conservatives still vote for them despite that.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.2

          The other name for neo-liberalism is neo-classical and conservatives were all for classical economics. Then the Great Depression happened, the conservatives were voted out, Keynesianism was voted in and then conservatives became hardened Keynesians. When that got voted out they changed spots again and went for the new economics.

          The only thing that conservatives are for is increasing their own wealth and power. If that requires firing people and cutting costs then so be it.

  14. captain hook 14

    journalist: how do you like new zealand?
    spike milligan: boiled with chips!
    coming up…

  15. Dv 15

    Weldo got one foor his money raing for chch from rich lsters.
    DOES ANY ONE know how he raised?

    Did the guy who organised the student army get one?

  16. GregJ 16

    Hmmm – I don’t know – seems appropriate that something as antiquated and anachronistic as an honours system should award something to Prince Philip who is, after all, antiquated and anachronistic.

    It does seem at times that many of the “higher level” honours with whatever Government is in power appear to be a pay off to supporters or fellow travellers – I think Napoleon was reputed to have said when there was egalitarian criticism of the Légion d’honneur – “With such baubles, you lead men.”

    Do we have a clear idea of what the fundamental purpose of an honours system is in a modern age?

    • Ideally, to recognize excellence in a field of national significance, and bring publicity to the work of such leaders.

      Honestly, if we stopped giving them to civil servants for just doing their jobs, (which admittedly aren’t easy) I’d say they’re fine. I don’t think the honours system should be tied to the monarchy, but I think the idea in general is fine.

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    This is kinda on topic

    But the most interesting thing of all about Game of Thrones is what you get when you strip away the blood and tits and get to the bare narrative bones under all that greasy meat. I’m talking about the basic story of the whole saga. I’m talking about one of the oldest stories of all, a story with the power to draw millions of us around the flatscreen just as our notional ancestors gathered around the hearths. I’m talking about The Search For The Good Ruler.

    Yep, it’s a review of The Game of Thrones but the story we see in this fictional narrative (and a lot of other fictional narratives as well for that matter) is exactly what’s being played out now in the honours system. After a few centuries of the declining power and relevance of the monarchy people now seem to grasping for a dictator to set things right again and thus they will be searching for The Good Ruler and this hoopla of honours is, IMO, part of that search.

  18. tracey 18

    IF the honours system honoured genuinely altruistic people it does send a message to an increasingly mean society that there is worth/value/respect in acting unselfishly.

    I have attended a few honours ceremonies, and frankly the system is upside down. The closer you get to the very highest honours the more the people are rewarded for a career or sporting involvement rather than their unselfish giving to society. The lower down the awards you can be overcome by the incredible time and hard work fellow j kiwis put in for no pay, no reward and simply because they want to help others.

    Being a sportsperson and representing your country is reward in itself, if it is a professional sport you got paid. JK at least has done great and selfless and non paying work for mental health, a significant issue in NZ.

    The important message of the honours must be selflessness, not a further message that if you become a famous person or make millions that’s enough for you to be top of the pile of those who should be respected.

    John Key’s appointment of PP to status of greatest living NZer says an awful lot more about our PM’s priorities than I ever could.

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    The poll for the award given to prince philip isn’t looking too good.

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  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    17 hours ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    17 hours ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    20 hours ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    21 hours ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    2 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    2 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    2 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    3 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    6 days ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    7 days ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    7 days ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    7 days ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    1 week ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    1 week ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    1 week ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    1 week ago
  • Auckland’s affordable homes plummet 72% under National
    Comprehensive new data from CoreLogic has found the number of homes in Auckland valued at under $600,000 has plummeted by 72 per cent since National took office, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This data tracks the changes in ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt should face the facts not skew the facts
    National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on ...
    1 week ago
  • More voices call for review of immigration policy
    The Auckland Chamber of Commerce is the latest credible voice to call for a review of immigration and skills policy, leaving John Key increasingly isolated, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister is rapidly becoming a man alone. He ...
    1 week ago
  • Better balance needed in Intelligence Bill
    Labour will support the NZ Intelligence and Security Bill to select committee so the issues can be debated nationwide and important amendments can be made, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Serco circus has no place in NZ
    A High Court judgment proves National’s private prison agenda has failed and the Serco circus has no place in New Zealand correctional facilities, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • State house sell-off a kick in the guts for Tauranga’s homeless
    The Government’s sale of 1124 state houses in Tauranga won’t house a single extra homeless person in the city, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Tauranga, like the rest of New Zealand, has a crisis of housing affordability and homelessness. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Axing Auckland’s affordable quota disappointing
    Auckland Council has given away a useful tool for delivering more affordable housing by voting to accept the Independent Hearing Panel’s recommendation to abolish affordable quotas for new developments, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ae Marika! Māori Party Oath Bill fails
    The Māori Party must reconsider its relationship with National after they failed to support Marama Fox’s Treaty of Waitangi Oath bill, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police Minister all platitudes no detail
    The Police Minister must explain where the budget for new police officers is coming from after continuously obfuscating, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lost luggage law shows National’s lost the plot
    The Government has proven it can’t address the big issues facing the tourism industry by allowing a Members Bill on lost luggage to be a priority, Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kris Faafoi said. “Nuk Korako’s Bill drawn from the Members’ Ballot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hiding behind the law – but can’t say which law
    National is refusing to come clean on what caused the potential trade dispute with China by hiding behind laws and trade rules they can’t even name, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “National admitted today that an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Work visas issued for jobs workless Kiwis want
    Thousands of work visas for low-skilled jobs were issued by the Government in the past year despite tens of thousands of unemployed Kiwis looking for work in those exact occupations, Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “A comparison of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis nationwide now paying for housing crisis
    The Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis is now affecting the entire country with nationwide house price inflation in the past year hitting 26 per cent, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “None of National’s tinkering or half-baked, piecemeal ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut piles pressure on Government
    Today’s OCR cut must be backed by Government action on housing and economic growth, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler’s monetary policy statement underlines the limits of Bill English’s economic management. He says growth is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must explain the McClay delay
    Todd McClay must explain why it took two months for him to properly inform the Prime Minister about China’s potential trade retaliation, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark. “This may be one of the most serious trade ...
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR cut would be vote of no confidence in economy
    If Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler cuts the OCR tomorrow it would show that, despite his loudly-voiced concerns about fuelling the housing market, the stuttering economy is now a bigger concern, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Leading medical experts back Healthy Homes Bill
    Leading medical experts have today thrown their weight behind my Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, saying it will improve the health of Kiwi kids, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “The Bill sets minimum standards for heating, insulation and ventilation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, it’s time to listen to the Auditor General
    Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman needs to listen to the independent advice of the Auditor General and review the capital charge system imposed on District Health Boards, says Labour’ Health Spokesperson Annette King.  “The capital charge on DHBs has been ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Peas explain, Minister
    The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says “The decision to ban the growing of peas in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PM’s police numbers wrong
    The Prime Minister has said that police numbers will increase in-line with population growth, however, the Police’s own four year strategy clearly states there are no plans to increase police numbers for the next four years, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial double speak on GP Fees
      The Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga was simply making it up when he claimed today that General Practitioners had been given money in the Budget to lower fees, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “In a reply to a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must close loophole in LVR rules
    The Government must urgently close a loophole in loan to value ratio mortgage restrictions which are stopping homeowners from buying new houses before they sell their old one, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank was forced to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bulk funding means bigger classes
    National’s plan to bulk fund schools can only result in bigger class sizes and a reduced range of subject choices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for John Key to sack his Housing Minister
    It is time for the Prime Minister to take serious and meaningful steps to address the housing crisis – and start by sacking Nick Smith as Housing Minister, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Clearly whatever it is National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman puts skids under cheaper GP visits
      Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders with high health needs are missing out on cheaper GP fees as the cost of going to the doctor hits $70, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “The number of practices subsidised to ...
    3 weeks ago

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