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Overall, 180 New Zealanders, split evenly between men and women, have been recognised for their involvement in the arts and media, business and economics, education, health, sport, community, science and technology and services to the state.
Outgoing All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has a knighthood for his services to rugby and Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua is one of the country’s newest dames.
They are joined by Dr Anna Crighton, who has been made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to heritage preservation and governance in her bid to fight to save historic and protected buildings, and Prof Marilyn Waring, who is recognised for services to women and economics.
Not all the recipients felt entirely comfortable with being singled out.
Ms Taurua, who is credited for turning around the Silver Ferns and leading them to victory in the Netball World Cup in July, said there had been so many people involved with the sport and who had served the community for a long time.
Ms Taurua said while many people were made dames or knights at the end of their careers, she still had a lot of time in hers to give back to the sport.
"I thought, well look, [Dame] Patsy [Reddy] will give it to me and Jacinda [Ardern] is the Prime Minister. So if I’m going to do it, it feels like a good time."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the recipients were a diverse group of well-deserving Kiwis.
"It is a true reflection of New Zealand that the biggest category of recipients this year is for community, voluntary and local services. We are a country that values taking care of one another and it is fitting that these people are recognised for their efforts. Of course, there is a healthy showing from the sporting world, too, and a top honour for Steve Hansen and Noeline
Ms Ardern also recognised Robert Martin’s work in the disability section and his independent expert role with the United Nations, which she said was the first of its kind in the world.
She said Prof Waring, an MP between 1975 and 1984, was respected internationally for her work on economics, women’s issues and aid, and had been a role model to many young women.
"I congratulate all honours recipients and thank them for their efforts. Our country is a better place because of them."
— The New Zealand Herald