Only 13 of the 85 people eligible to become a knight or dame under the return of titular honours have declined.

Prime Minister John Key said the names of the 72 who have said they would take the title would be forwarded to Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, "then they're approved and we'll have a final list".

Tomorrow was the last day for people to indicate whether they wanted to take up a titular honour and the names of the new knights and dames would be released on August 1.

The titles were dropped in 2000 by the previous Labour government, which instead instituted titles of Principal and Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

- NZPA