New Zealand Cross (1999)

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New Zealand Cross
New Zealand Cross obverse.png

New Zealand Cross ribbon.png
Obverse of the Cross, and
Ribbon: 38mm, bright blue.
TypeCivil decoration
Awarded for"... acts of great bravery in situations of extreme danger"[1]
Presented byNew Zealand
EligibilityNew Zealand civilians, but may also be awarded to New Zealand military personnel in some circumstances
StatusCurrently awarded
Established20 September 1999
First awarded1999
Last awarded1999
EquivalentVictoria Cross for New Zealand
Next (lower)New Zealand Bravery Star

The New Zealand Cross (NZC) is New Zealand's highest award for bravery not in the face of the enemy.[2] It was instituted by Royal Warrant on 20 September 1999[3] as part of the move to replace British bravery awards with an indigenous New Zealand Bravery system. The medal, which may be awarded posthumously, is granted in recognition of "acts of great bravery in situations of extreme danger". The medal is primarily a civilian award, but it is also awarded to members of the armed forces who perform acts of bravery in non-operational circumstances (given that the New Zealand gallantry awards may only be awarded "while involved in war and warlike operational service (including peacekeeping)".[4]

Bars are awarded to the NZC in recognition of the performance of further acts of bravery meriting the award. Recipients are entitled to the postnominal letters "NZC". This medal replaced the award of the George Cross in respect of acts of bravery in, or meriting recognition by, New Zealand. The design of this medal was based on the original New Zealand Cross (1869), though with a change of ribbon color to differentiate it from the Victoria Cross.


The New Zealand Cross is similar in design to the original New Zealand Cross (1869). The decoration is a silver cross pattée, 52 millimetres high, 38 millimetres wide, with six-pointed gold star on each limb. In the centre there are the words 'New Zealand' within a gold fern wreath. The cross surmounted by a gold Saint Edward's Crown which is attached by a ring and a seriffed 'V' to a bar ornamented with gold fern leaves, through which the ribbon passes. On the reverse "FOR BRAVERY - MO TE MAIA" is inscribed.


Jacinda Margaret Amey [5]

On 24 April 1992 Ms Amey was one of five members of a Meteorological Service team, stationed on the remote sub-Antarctic Campbell Island, who were snorkelling when one of them, Mr Mike Fraser, was attacked by a shark, believed to be a white pointer. The other swimmers, apart from Ms Amey, swam to shore. Ms Amey waited until the shark moved away from Mr Fraser and then went to his aid and towed him to shore. Mr Fraser had lost his right forearm and his left forearm was severely lacerated and appeared to be broken. He was having trouble breathing and required urgent medical treatment. Having got him to shore, Ms Amey then joined the rest of the team in doing what they could for Mr Fraser until he could be flown to New Zealand. Ms Amey displayed great courage and bravery with complete disregard for her own safety in going to Mr Fraser's assistance.

Reginald John Dixon [6]

On 9 June 1995, Mr Dixon, aged 47, and his wife were passengers on Ansett New Zealand Flight 703 when the aircraft crashed in the Tararua Ranges near Palmerston North. Mr Dixon escaped from the wreckage with fractures. However, despite his injuries, he returned to the aircraft to help other passengers trapped in the wreckage. As a result of this selfless action, he was critically burned when a flash fire broke out on the left wing of the aircraft near a hole in the fuselage from which he was helping passengers escape. He was hospitalised and underwent surgery and skin grafts. Mr Dixon remained in a coma, and although he made some initial improvement, his condition worsened and he died two weeks later, the fourth victim of the crash. The situation in which Mr Dixon found himself was extremely dangerous and he displayed great bravery in returning to the aircraft, although injured, to help other passengers which subsequently resulted in the loss of his own life. His bravery undoubtedly ensured that the loss of life was not greater.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Zealand Gallantry and Bravery Awards". NZ Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2007-10-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "New Zealand Bravery Awards". Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 2018-11-21.
  3. ^ "The New Zealand Bravery Awards Royal Warrant". NZ Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2007-10-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "The New Zealand Gallantry Awards Royal Warrant". NZ Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2007-10-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Recipients of the New Zealand Cross - Jacinda Amey". NZ Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2007-10-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Recipients of the New Zealand Cross - John Dixon". NZ Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2007-10-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)