I think I am a bit late getting on this particular bandwagon but my comments are not time dependant but seem to be perennially applicable.

The New Years Honours.

So many given to people who are doing the very thing they are paid to do, by the public purse, by us, and who deserve nothing more than any working person and a whole lot less than the majority of 'ordinary' people who selflessly go out of their way, often unpaid, to do extraordinary things and to actually achieve great things.

Officialy the word is "Our honours system is a way for New Zealand to say thanks and well done to those who have served and those who have achieved. We believe that such recognition is consistent with the egalitarian character of New Zealand society and enlivens and enriches it." (Prime Minister's Honours Advisory Committee, September 1995).


Nothing there about doing the very thing a person is paid to do.

I am a bit of a royalist, at least while Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is on the throne, and I am in full agreement that some form of recognition is due to those who actually deserve it, and there are very many who do, but seriously, some of the bestowed honours seem habitually to go to politicians who have done nothing more than just that. Being a politician; Which in itself brings the unique situation of being able to vote to award oneself a decent pay rise every so often, and perks even in retirement, the like of which is but a dream to mere mortals. Cronyism is a word heard often at this time of year.

2017 was, by all reckoning, a pretty good year for NZ motorsport, or at least drivers from NZ and some great achievements have been made in the last one or two years by Kiwis in the motorsport world. But there was nothing in the New Years Honours list for them or the many motorsport 'behind the scenes' personnel in general of course, despite the sport and it's individuals doing more for the country than some obscure politician who has never had a proper job in their lives and absolutely no experience of working, or surviving, in the real world,

What greater achievement can there be for a sportsman than to win a world title in his particular sport and proudly proclaim his or her Kiwi nationality. Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley achieved that in 2017 and for Hartley it was his second WORLD title. Make no mistake, a WORLD title. Shane van Gisbergen trounced the Australian drivers to become champion of his particular discipline in 2016. Perhaps they are considered too young to be seriously considered for an honour of any sort.

There are more in the motorsport world who deserve some recognition but the same applies to many young sportspeople in many disciplines who bring along nothing but hard work, talent and dedication which then results in reflected glory for the country and advances the international belief that Kiwi sportspeople, men and women alike, are bred from 'the right stuff'.

Sadly the flaws in the system, at least regarding motorsport, are not unique to New Zealand with some glaring examples. One being the absence of a knighthood, right up until his death, for the only man to have won seven world titles on two wheels and then a Formula 1 world Championship title on four, a feat that will certainly never be repeated.

John Surtees MBE was awarded an OBE in 2008 and subsequently a CBE in 2016 after a stunning and matchless career full of achievements of the highest order but never, despite continued lobbying by many in the UK, was he granted a Knighthood.

It is interesting that tennis player Andy Murray, singer Barry Gibb and drummer Ringo Starr were among those to receive Knighthoods in the 2018 UK New Years Honours list.


Perhaps things may change in a year's time.

Things certainly have to change in the world of Formula One 2018 with the 'honeymoon' period, if indeed there actually was such a thing, for the new owners of the sport long having finished.

It is time to actually get things going.

A lot of talk has come out of their distinguished camp over the past several months but not much definitive action.

The sport has bumbled along recently, perhaps even gone backwards to some extent so it is time for some radical, forward thinking deeds rather than placating words.

The Formula 1 season (and Brendon Hartley's new career campaign) gets underway in Melbourne in March and there is much to look forward to.

In New Zealand we have the Formula One stars of the future opening their own five week campaigns in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series beginning at 'The Mike Pero Motorsport Park' Ruapuna, Christchurch this weekend.

The 2018 season starts now.