Story: Royal honours system

New Zealand design elements: women's Order of New Zealand badge (1st of 3)

New Zealand design elements: women's Order of New Zealand badge

The badge of the Order of New Zealand is an oval medallion made of gold, with coloured enamels. A kōwhaiwhai pattern based on the koru (unfurling fern frond) surrounds the design of the shield from the New Zealand cost of arms. The ribbon features the colour of kōkōwai or red ochre, significant to Māori and also echoing the traditional use of red in heraldry. Men wear the badge round their necks, hanging from the ribbon. Women can choose to wear it that way or from a bow of ribbon pinned to the left breast. The badge is returned when a holder dies or leaves the order, and it is passed on to another appointee.

Courtesy of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Marguerite Hill

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Mandy Wong, 'Royal honours system - The Order of New Zealand and New Zealand Order of Merit', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 April 2024)

Story by Mandy Wong, published 20 Jun 2012