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New rules for use of “The Right Honourable"

New rules for use of the title “The Right Honourable”

Buckingham Palace has announced that there are new rules for the use of the title “The Right Honourable” in New Zealand.

The Queen has given approval for those appointed to the offices of Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker and Chief Justice to be granted the title “The Right Honourable” for life.

Earlier this year, the Queen, through her Private Secretary, had indicated that she would be pleased to consider a submission proposing a new approach to the granting of the title “The Right Honourable”.

In the past, the service of the most senior members of the judiciary and the executive in New Zealand have been recognised by their appointment to the UK Privy Council and their consequent right to use the title “The Right Honourable” for life. This ceased in 2000 when the previous Prime Minister decided not to suggest any further appointments to the Privy Council, a practice that continued with the election of a new government in 2008.

Prime Minister John Key says while he was personally content to have the title “Honourable”, he appreciates the Queen’s wish to recognise service in the office of the Prime Minister.

“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.

The grant of the title of “The Right Honourable” will not be retrospective and will apply only to current and future Governors-General, Prime Ministers, Speakers and Chief Justices.

The changes are effective immediately.


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