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John Key

27 March, 2009

Queen approves title changes; Governor-General knighted

Prime Minister John Key announced today that the Queen has finished the formalities needed to reinstate titles in the New Zealand honours system.


Mr Key also announced that the Queen has approved the redesignation of the Governor-General from a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit to a Knight Grand Companion of the Order, effective immediately.


That means the Governor-General’s new title and style will be His Excellency The Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO.


“It is fitting that the Governor-General, as Chancellor of the New Zealand Order of Merit, has a titular honour.


“I am also pleased that the Queen has given her formal approval to the changes I announced on 8 March.”


The Queen formally reinstated the titles by signing the new Amending Royal Warrant, dated 23 March 2009. (see fact sheet).


Fact sheet


The formalities relating to the reinstatement of titles into the New Zealand Honours System have been completed by Her Majesty The Queen signing the new Amending Royal Warrant, dated 23 March 2009.  This new Warrant provides for:



  • the reinstatement of titles at the two highest levels of The New Zealand Order of Merit; namely:

- Knight and Dame Grand Companion (GNZM); and


- Knight and Dame Companion (KNZM/DNZM).



  • the opportunity for Principal and Distinguished Companions of the Order to elect to be redesignated within the Order as Knights or Dames.


  • the opportunity for those Principal and Distinguished Companions of the Order who already enjoy a title in another Order of Chivalry, or as a Knight Bachelor, to be redesignated within The New Zealand Order of Merit Order as a Knight or Dame.


  • an opportunity for the small number of widows of deceased former Principal and Distinguished Companions of the Order to elect to use the courtesy title of “Lady” for the remainder of their lives.


  • those who elect not to accept a title to remain Principal or Distinguished Companions of the Order, and to retain their existing privileges and styles.

The Governor-General holds the office of Chancellor of the New Zealand Order of Merit.  Under the provisions of the new Warrant, he retains this officeAs the principal office holder of the Order, and with the reinstatement of titular honours, it is fitting that the Governor-General should also hold a titular honour.


The Queen has redesignated the Governor-General from a Principal Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit (PCNZM) to a Knight Grand Companion of the Order (GNZM), effective immediately.


The Governor-General’s new title and style are: His Excellency The Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO. As the wife of a knight, the Governor-General’s wife, Mrs Susan Satyanand, is entitled to use the courtesy title of “Lady”.  Her new style is: Her Excellency Lady Satyanand.

  • John Key
  • Prime Minister