Queen's Service Order

The Queen's Service Order, established by royal warrant of Queen Elizabeth II on 13 March 1975, is used to recognise "valuable voluntary service to the community or meritorious and faithful services to the Crown or similar services within the public sector, whether in elected or appointed office". This order was created after a review of New Zealand's honours system in 1974. The Queen's Service Order replaced the Imperial Service Order in New Zealand.[1]

Queen's Service Order
Male Companion's Badge of the Queen's Service Order for Community Service
Established13 March 1975
CountryNew Zealand
SovereignElizabeth II
Last induction2018 New Year Honours
Next (higher)New Zealand Bravery Star
Next (lower)Officer of The New Zealand Order of Merit
RelatedQueen's Service Medal

Ribbon of the Queen's Service Order


The monarch of New Zealand is the Sovereign of the order and those who are appointed as members are "Companions". Companions are classified into Ordinary, Extra, Additional, and Honorary members. Ordinary Companions are those being New Zealand citizens or citizens of Commonwealth realms. Ordinary membership is limited to 50 appointments per annum. Members of the Royal Family can be named "Extra Companions". Those citizens of countries not sharing the monarch of New Zealand as their head of state may be appointed as "Honorary Companions". "Additional Companions" may be appointed in honour of important royal, state or national occasions.

The Governor-General of New Zealand is an additional companion of the order in her own right and is also the order's "Principal Companion". Former Governors-General or their spouses, may also be appointed as an "Additional Companion". The clerk of New Zealand's Executive Council, or another person appointed by the Sovereign, is the “Secretary and Registrar” of the Order.

Companions are entitled to use the post-nominal letters "QSO". Before 2007, awards were distinguished between those made for "public" and "community service". Appointments to the order are made by royal warrant under the monarch's royal sign-manual and countersigned by the Principal Companion or the Secretary and Register in his or her place. Appointments are announced in the New Zealand Gazette.


The insignia of the order is a stylised manuka flower with five petals, which contains the effigy of the reigning monarch surrounded by a red circle inscribed FOR SERVICE — MŌ NGA MAHI NUI, crowned at the top. The ribbon has a traditional Māori Poutama motif of black, white and red diagonal 'steps' (signifying the growth of man, striving ever upwards)[2] in the centre with red stripes along each edge of the ribbon. The insignia is worn on the left lapel of the coat for men or from a ribbon tied in a bow at the left shoulder for women. The Governor-General of New Zealand additionally wears the badge on a thin gold chain.


There is also a related Queen's Service Medal, which is a silver circular medal bearing the effigy of the reigning monarch on the obverse, and the Coat of Arms of New Zealand on the reverse. The ribbon or bow pattern is the same as the Queen's Service Order. The medal, before 2005, was also awarded for "public" and "community service".

Important members and officers

  • Officers
    • Secretary and Registrar: Michael L. C. Webster.[3][4]

See also


  1. "The Imperial Service Order and Medal". Medals awarded to New Zealand military personnel. New Zealand Defence Force. Retrieved 25 March 2013. External link in |work= (help)
  2. Stories of the Tukutuku patterns
  3. Appointed 18 March 2014 to the office of Secretary and Registrar of The Queen's Service Order, The Order of New Zealand, and The New Zealand Order of Merit, during Her Majesty's pleasure, in place of Rebecca Lucy Kitteridge, CVO
  4. The Queen's Service Order / The Order of New Zealand / The New Zealand Order of Merit (28 April 2014) 44 New Zealand Gazette 1263 at 1287.
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