Clark, Myers and Jackson lead 2010 New Year Honours List

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark, film-maker Peter Jackson, businessman Douglas Myers and US philanthropist Julian Robertson feature in the 2010 New Year honours, which is heavy in its recognition of business people.

It is an irony that Ms Clark, the administrator of the UN Development Programme and who in 2000 abolished titular honours list, joins a raft of new dames and knights. These titles were restored by the National government.

Ms Clark joins the elite Order of New Zealand, which is restricted to 20 living New Zealanders and at the moment has only 17 members.

Sir Douglas Myers, 71, has long been thought to have been a knight, judging by the many descriptions over the years in the media.

He becomes a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit along with Sir Peter Jackson, health professor Sir Mason Durie, senior judge Sir Bruce Robertson and educationalist Dame Lesley Max.

American citizen Julian Robertson becomes an honorary knight and cannot call himself “Sir.”

In an embargoed interview, Ms Clark said she felt privileged to join the “incredible New Zealanders” in the order, and “certainly would not” have accepted a damehood. She admitted to not being wholly surprised at the honour, although it perhaps came sooner than expected.

“I've spent a lot of years at the top, maybe sometime an approach would have been made ... It's not unusual, it's a question of timing.”

Sir Peter’s honour comes as film career recovers from a hiatus since he collected a raft of Oscars for The Lord of the Rings trilogy in 2004.

His latest film, The Lovely Bones, started its New Zealand season on Boxing Day while earlier this year his production of science fiction thriller District 9 was a critical and box office hit.

His company Weta is responsible for the special effects in the blockbuster Avatar and he is deeply involved in several new films, including a Tintin series, a remake of The Dam Busters and a new version of Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Sir Peter did not give an interview but issued a statement saying the knighthood was an "incredible moment" that was greater than receiving an Oscar.

Sir Douglas was not so reticent in his reaction.

“You're supposed to say you feel humbled, but I don't feel very humble. I just feel very pleased and happy," he said. “I said to someone the other day you don't get much pleasure when you get older, quite the reverse most of the time.”
 


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Bar Humbug!!
Helen Clark receiving the highest honour in the land for leading Labour's failed social experiment is a scandle and a travesty.
We must now spend the next 25 years paying for that shambles while she continues to enjoy the taxpayers' coin.

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I always thought the NBR got the fact right.. But I guess not . Helen Clark didn't remove honours - she took the Knights and Dames (Sirs and Ladies) away.
I believe the ONZ doesn't carry the title "Dame" I believe Helen Clarke has stated and again recently she would not accept a Damehood...

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Providing recognition for someone who led this country down the garden path of social engineering and political correctness for so long is utterly ridiculous.
The only thing she should have been given is the DCB (Dont Come Back). Perhaps now she is off shore working for the UN we could cancel her passport as part of the deal.

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How about acknowledging farmers, small business people, community volunteers and workers; the people who actually make NZ run.

Not failed lawyers who become judges.

Not self serving merchant bankers who make party donations.

Not celebrity sports people who do nothing for the productivity of NZ.

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Well said.

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Another atrocious decision by the Key (Clarke II) govt to reward the chief in the band of thieves that was the last govt. The Labour heirachy should have been prosecuted for their actions over ACC and their illegal lack of disclosure at the poor state it ACC's books, but no Key let them get away scot free thus reinforcing the 1 law for labour, and 1 law for the rest of us mantra that developed. Clark has admitted to multiple forgeries of art works over a 20 year timeframe, colluded in the restrospective justification of Duynhoven's illegal status of dual citizenship and parliamentary representation, stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars and then had the audacity to retrospectively change the law, and then to add insult to iunjury, try to force through legislation that would restrict freedom of speech and attempt to minimise political dissent therein. She also led the shameful protection of Field, NZ's only officially corrupt parliamentarian.
NZ top honour is a sick joke and remain so for as long as Clark and Hunt are still in it. John Key et al should be ashamed.

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When will people get their facts right. Helen Clarke led our country for nine years, not once did she have a majority government. She ruled knowing that she would have to make compromises and deals with minority parties and the opposition. Lets not put failings all on her and her governments.

I would also like to add that NZ is not the only country that is in dire straights but many of our major trading partners are too. When countries like the US, UK,Germany and France are suffering we do too, why? Becauser they purchase many products from us. Many of the reasons the world is in the situation we are in isn't because of Socialism but is due to many of the New Right policies from the Thatcher and Reagan eras of the 80s. Free markets are not always the best ways to run business especially when money and peoples livelyhoods are at stake. So failures in NZ cannot and should not be blamed on Helen Clark and her Labour-led governments.

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I think Helen deserves the accolade. A beautiful person can be found under the gruff exterior. Honestly I can think of a better dude to rule our country.

Long live Sir Helen!

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I think that when will people get their facts right. Helen Clarke led our country for nine years, not once did she have a majority government. She ruled knowing that she would have to make compromises and deals with minority parties and the opposition. Lets not put failings all on her and her governments.

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