New Zealand order of precedence

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The Order of precedence in New Zealand was approved[1] by Queen Elizabeth II on 9 January 1974, and amended to include former Governors-General on 10 September 1981.[2] While the Queen herself is not listed in the order of precedence, the Monarch of New Zealand holds the highest precedence in New Zealand. Names of incumbents are as of 2014.

  1. The Governor-General or (whilst acting in the place of the Governor-General) the deputy of the Governor-General or the officer administering the Government
  2. The Prime Minister
  3. The Speaker of the House of Representatives
  4. The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps
  5. The Deputy Prime Minister and Ministers of the Crown (ordered by ministerial rank; list as of 20 December 2014)[3]
    Ministers Outside of Cabinet
    Support Party Ministers
  6. Former Governors-General
  7. The Chief Justice
  8. Ambassadors and High Commissioners in New Zealand for Her Majesty's Governments elsewhere, according to date of presentation of Letters of Credence or of assumption of duty, and Foreign Ministers and Envoys. See the Ministry of Foreign Affairs order of precedence page for a list.
  9. The Leader of the Opposition in the Parliament of New Zealand
  10. Privy Counsellors
    Until 1999 it was traditional for the Prime Minister, senior and long-serving Ministers of the Crown, the Chief Justice and Judges of the Court of Appeal to be appointed to the Privy Council. No appointments were made from 2000, and in 2010 steps were taken to discontinue such appointments.[4]
  11. Members of the New Zealand House of Representatives. There is no established order of precedence over members of parliament in general, although each party has its internal ranking.
  12. Judges of the Supreme Court
  13. President and puisne judges of the Court of Appeal
  14. Chief High Court Judge and other judges of the High Court
  15. "Mayors of cities and boroughs and chairmen of counties while in their own districts." In 1989, boroughs and counties were amalgamated into district councils. District mayors, and the Chatham Islands mayor could expect to be accorded this same precedence.
  16. Charges d'Affaires
  17. Former Prime Ministers (all living former Prime Ministers are members of the Privy Council and thus have higher precedence)
  18. Former Ministers of the Crown in New Zealand
    Ministers of the Crown who are Members of the Executive Council are granted the title of The Honourable during their term of office. On leaving office, this title can be granted for the rest of their life. The Parliamentary Services maintain biographies of former Members of Parliament since 2006.
  19. The Clerk of the Parliament of New Zealand, Controller and Auditor-General and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Investigations.
    • The Clerk of the Parliament of New Zealand - Mary Harris (13 December 2007)[5]
    • Controller and Auditor-General - Lyn Provost 5 October 2009[6][7]
    • The Parliamentary Commissioner for Investigations (the Chief Ombudsman) - Dame Beverley Wakem DNZM CBE (23 April 2008)[8]
  20. The Chief of Defence Staff, the Chairman of the State Services Commission, the Solicitor-General and Permanent Heads of Civil Departments of State
    • Chief of Defence Force - Lieutenant General Tim Keating (31 January 2014)
    • The Chairman of the State Services Commission - Iain Rennie (1 July 2008)[9]
    • The Solicitor-General - Michael Heron QC (24 July 2012)
  21. Chiefs of Staff of the Defence Forces
    • Chief of Navy - Rear Admiral Jack Steer ONZM (1 December 2012)
    • Chief of Army - Major General David Gawn MBE (18 April 2011)
    • Chief of Air Force - Air Commodore Mike Yardley (25 March 2014)[10]
  22. Consuls-General & Consuls of countries without diplomatic representation in New Zealand
  23. Heads of religious denominations in New Zealand
  24. Knights of the various orders and Knights Bachelor, according to their precedence in the United Kingdom


  1. ^ "Order of Precedence in New Zealand Approved" (10 January 1974) 1 New Zealand Gazette 1 at 5.
  2. ^ "Order of Precedence in New Zealand" (17 September 1981) New Zealand Gazette 2575
  3. ^ "Cabinet Office". Ministerial List. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 20 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Privy Council". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 
  5. ^ "Appointment of Clerk of the House of Representatives" (13 December 2007) 131 New Zealand Gazette 3587 at 3606.
  6. ^ "Appointment of Controller and Auditor-General" (3 September 2009) 131 New Zealand Gazette 3033 at 3057
  7. ^ Lyn Provost Controller and Auditor-General, Office of the Controller and Auditor-General (of New Zealand), 3 September 2009, retrieved 4 February 2013 
  8. ^ "Appointment of Chief Ombudsman" (24 April 2008) 76 New Zealand Gazette 2081 at 2108.
  9. ^ "Appointment of the State Services Commissioner - Iain Robert Rennie" (1 May 2008) 2162.
  10. ^ "Changes at the Top". Royal New Zealand Air Force. Ministry of Defence. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.