Another Step in Government by Stealth
The Prime Minister’s decision to discontinue the awarding of
knighthoods is the politics of envy, said ACT leader Richard
“The coalition has no mandate for the change, and they have not sought any approval from Parliament. The government argument for discontinuing knighthoods is illogical and factually incorrect,” Mr Prebble said.
“Awarding outstanding community service with a knighthood has been part of New Zealand’s tradition since 1840, and to claim that it is somehow foreign is as absurd as claiming that most of our institutions are foreign.”
“The real motivation is an ideological hatred of the country honouring success. The action also means that sportspeople like Russell Coutts will never be so honoured. It also gets Helen Clark off the hook from calls for her to honour her old rival Mike Moore with a knighthood.”
“It’s ironic that only two days after the former Minister of Justice Sir Douglas Graham was complaining how hard it is to persuade top lawyers to become judges, the government has decided to remove the traditional way of paying respect to the judiciary by knighting leading judges.”
Mr Prebble said knighthoods cost the taxpayer virtually nothing, and there was “absolutely no doubt” that the country recognised such an award as being the sign of extraordinary community service.
“It’s my own belief that this action is yet another sign that the coalition has a secret agenda to rewrite the constitution and to reject the nation’s Westminster traditions,” he said.