Labour unsure about having McCaw knighted, but Key’s got it under control


Prime Minister John Key says there is “not a dog’s show” of New Zealand scrapping knights and dames from New Zealand’s honours system.

Mr Key said the titular honours which he reinstated in 2009 had “never been more popular” and he had no plan to follow Australia in removing them.

Australia’s new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed yesterday that the titles would be dropped, just a year after previous leader Tony Abbott reintroduced them.

Mr Key told reporters this morning he had “no regrets” in bringing back the titles, which had been scrapped by the previous Labour Government in 2000.

He did not share Mr Turnbull’s view that knights and dames were archaic. He said every honours system was different, and Australia had only offered knighthoods to a very small group of people.

On Sunday, Mr Key renewed his call for All Black captain Richie McCaw to be knighted for leading New Zealand to two World Cup victories.

He did not plan to speak to McCaw about the nomination, and he said it was up to officials to consider whether the veteran All Black was deserving of a knighthood.

McCaw turned down a knighthood after New Zealand’s World Cup win in 2011.

Labour’s deputy leader Annette King agreed that McCaw was deserving of the honour, along with All Black coach Steve Hansen and possibly others.

“A quarter of the team came out of the Rongotai electorate,” the Rongotai MP said. “I’m talking about Ma’a Nonu and Dane Coles and Julian Savea and I could go through the list.”

Ms King reiterated that Labour had not thought about whether it would retain or remove knights and dames if it was in power.

Well Ms King is a bit of a flip flopper then, because under Auntie Helen’s reign those honours were indeed abolished.  Helen Clark didn’t want a bar of them.

Didn’t stop Michael Cullen accepting his of course.   Labour are, after all, extremely flexible when it comes to policy.


– Isaac Davison, A newspaper

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