Prime Minister John Key, Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand, Speaker Lockwood Smith and Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias all have a new title to permanently add to their business cards.

The Queen has issued a "request" that the Prime Minister, Governor General, Speaker of the House and Chief Justice should all now be referred to as "Right Honourable" for the rest of their lives.

"This will bring a measure of association and continuity with the recent past; formerly, the most senior members of the Judiciary and the Executive in New Zealand gained this right upon appointment to the Privy Council, a practice which no longer exists," a statement from Buckingham Palace said.

Until 2000 most senior members of the judiciary and executive from New Zealand were able to use the title due to their appointment to the United Kingdom's Privy Council.

Former prime minister Helen Clark decided not to suggest further appointments to the Privy Council and that has been continued under the current government.

Prime Minister John Key said he appreciated the title.

"Her Majesty believes it is appropriate also to acknowledge the service of the Governor-General, the Queen's representative in New Zealand, the Speaker, the highest officer in the House of Representatives, and the Chief Justice, the head of the judicial branch of government," Mr Key said.

The change will not apply to former Prime Ministers, Governors General, Speakers or Chief Justices.

Those who miss out on the tittle, because they served after 2000 and left before today, were former governor-general Silvia Cartwright and former speaker Margaret Wilson.

- NZHERALD STAFF with NZPA