Former Auckland Grammar head and All Black captain John Graham is among a group of prominent New Zealanders to be made either knights or dames in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Prominent Aucklander philanthropist Rosemary Horton and Katerina Te Heikoko Mataira, from Hamilton, who has helped lead the revival of the Maori language, have been made Dame Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit, while Court of Appeal judge Grant Hammond, Anzco Foods founder Graeme Harrison, Manawatu businessman Dan Higgins and arts patron James Wallace join Sir John as Knights Companion.
One rung down from the knighthoods, former Auckland Mayor John Banks and former Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast have been made Companions of the Order (CNZM). Recently retired Police Commissioner Howard Broad, former Race Relations Conciliator John Clarke, former Treasury Secretary John Whitehead, opera singer and administrator Christopher Doig and Mark Ford, who led the body setting up the Auckland Council, are among other to be made Companions.
Former United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage is awarded an honorary Companion of the Order for his services to New Zealand-US relations.
Silver Ferns netball coach Ruth Aitken and her captain Casey Williams, past New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming and the current one, Daniel Vettori, and rugby administrator Rob Fisher have all been made Officers of the Order (ONZM). Basketballer Pero Cameron and gold medal winning Paralympian Adam Hall have been made Members of the Order (MNZM) order.
Prominent New Zealanders, including broadcaster John Hawkesby, celebrity gossiper David Hartnell, OpShop lead singer Jason Kerrison, first Fonterra chairman John Roadley and winemaker Allan Scott are also on the MNZM list, while former National Party chairman Judith Kirk and Maori educator Cathy Dewes are honoured with ONZMs.
In the military list, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Parsons has been awarded the New Zealand Distinguished Services Decoration (DSD) for his work leading the SAS task force tasked with protecting Kabul from insurgent attacks.
Flight Sergeant Darren Smith, a helicopter crewman, has also been honoured for his rescue effort when a Iroquois helicopter crashed near Pukerua Bay, north of Wellington, killing three men. Flt Sgt Smith located the wreckage on foot and found one survivor, whom he prepared for a rescue flight using unfamiliar equipment.