The Order of New Zealand

As a country, what do we reward?

Take a look at the list of the current members of the Order of New Zealand, which is our country’s highest public honour:

There are plenty of politicians: two former Prime Ministers, three other former Members of Parliament, and two former Governors General.  

There are artists, including an author, a poet, a potter, and an opera singer.

There are those who have been involved in community work.

There is a trade unionist, a doctor, an architect, a lawyer and a judge, a church minister and a theologian.

There is even an All Black and an Olympic gold medalist.

But nobody who is recognised as a business leader.  Nada.

Is there nobody who has made a worthy contribution?  Or are we just not including those who have?

Either way, it’s pretty telling isn’t it?

5 thoughts on “The Order of New Zealand”

  1. I think you are totally right, and I think it’s a big problem in NZ – in business, there is no one recognised in the normal ways as a business leader. Which means, I think, that most people dont care, which doesn’t bode well for NZ going forward.

    I think there are plenty of people who could be in there – Michael Hill comes to mind, maybe Stephen Tindall?

    Strange, tho, that most are in politics, and they are also the ones giving out the awards.

  2. Michael Hill won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recently, but it is different compared to an award given out by the Government representing the entire country, and not an accounting firm.

    I think all this is reflected by the current state of election policies. Most of the parties seem focused on ‘how much more a week we can be better of from their tax cuts’ (its like the new student loan bribe from last election) but no strong leadership emerging about how we are going to grow the economy, increase GDP, combat the international downturn and not slide back.

    That is where I would really like to see some more leadership and I think its a shame that business leaders in New Zealand have for the most part been very quiet about these elections. Scared off by the Owen Glenn fiasco’s perhaps?

  3. Sir James Fletcher was a member but died in August 2007. You’re right though, our tall poppy syndrome likes to cut down business people pretty much straight away. That’s a sad state of affairs.

  4. Don’t they already have their Porsches? The artists, community workers don’t get those so need some other sort of recognition.

  5. Right on!

    Kiwis really do smack down on those who do things different and succeed.

    People who say person X has too much money.

    My view is that they can complain about whatever they want when they donate 1 Billion to Aids & TB research ala Bill Gates.

    It would be great to see more business role models.

Comments are closed.