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Use of the title 'The Right Honourable' in New Zealand

Published 2 August 2010

At The Queen’s request, new rules for the granting and use of the title “The Right Honourable” will apply in New Zealand to preserve an important mark of distinction for the holders of the Nation’s highest public offices.

Henceforth, those appointed to the offices of the Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker and Chief Justice will be granted the title “The Right Honourable” ex officio, for life. 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.

This decision is consistent with the practice in other Realms. The new rules will apply to current, not former, office holders.