Waidale Rams

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Paid success no basis for gong!

Twice a year the government makes various people knights or dames of the realm!!! I don’t consider myself a republican or a royalist.  I would also assume that I, like most people, are unaware exactly what the criteria is upon which they decide to bestow such titles on people.

However, irrespective of what the criteria are, twice a year, I find myself absolutely stunned as to who receives such titles.  If someone simply pursues their goals or career and they get well or adequately remunerated for it: why do they deserve to be made a knight or a dame simply because they have been successful in their chosen field    It’s farcical!  

Surely to be worthy of receiving such a title you must do more than simply pursue your career or your vocation and be successful at it.   You need to use your position, success and/or status in society to help many others over your lifetime to be even considered worthy of being made a Knight or a Dame.  Logically this would mean most people would normally receive such an honour in their twilight of their life as it takes success, benevolence and hard work over a lifetime to truly make a difference in society.  It goes without saying that someone’s contribution in this regard is not their vocation or employment for which they are getting paid.

I don’t know much about the basis for receiving a CNZM or ONZM either.  But I think I heard Phil Goff being quoted after receiving one of these that he was simply doing his job.  Which succinctly sums up my view that if you are doing your job well, do you deserve this as surely even in a small country in New Zealand, we have millions of people who do their job well?

I have a lot of admiration for what Val Adams has achieved in the field of athletics, but being extremely successful in the world as a shot putter, for which she is remunerated in some form or another means she should be made a Dame?  No way!   Perhaps twenty years down the track when through her success and status she gives so much back to society via unpaid appearances, speaking engagements or endorsements etc, then she may deserve to be made a Dame.

Sir Graham Henry is another.   For most of his career as a rugby coach, he has been extremely well paid for pursuing his vocation and ultimately his career.  Again I admire what he has achieved and done, but did he deserve to be made a knight, again based on my criteria, no way.

A coupler people who in my eyes do deserve it: Sir Colin Meads; sure he was a legendary All Black, but it is what he done over the subsequent decades in giving his time, endorsement etc to many worthy causes.  What he put back into rugby.  It is his lifetime of what he gave back, not as part of his job, which means he deserved to be knighted.   

Similarly Sir Peter Leitch, aka the Mad Butcher.   A very successful businessman, a man who deserved to be knighted, not for his success as a businessman, but for what he has done (and still does) for so many entities, charitable, sporting and otherwise.  He has used his success to help so many others.  The man seems to be a dynamo; he is always using his notoriety and resources to help some cause.


Sporting stars can have the abilities recognised through Halbergs, or Halls of Fame etc if we are simply looking for a way to acknowledge how good someone is in their chosen field of endeavour.   Surely such success alone cannot merit being made a Dame or a Knight.

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