There is nothing like a dame, as the Americans would have us believe – so let’s salute Tariana

December 31, 2014

Alf’s mood today is much the same as it was yesterday.

He is in a slough of despondency after reading the NZ Herald’s report on the New Year list of gongs and finding he has been overlooked. Again.

But he has a generous heart and is willing to acknowledge that Tariana Turia is a worthy recipient of a damehood.

She might not be altogether thrilled, however, because the gong was reported like this:

Dames Companion

Ellen Adrienne, Lady Stewart, ONZM, QSM, Christchurch, for services to the arts and business

The Honourable Tariana Turia, Wanganui, for services as a member of Parliament.


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One name is lamentably missing from Kiwi of the Year lineup – and don’t forget young Christopher

December 30, 2014

The “short list for New Zealander of the Year 2015” was announced in a press release yesterday.

The list isn’t as laudable as it should be, because the name of the hard-working member for Eketahuna North is missing.

There are some worthy names there, notwithstanding the list’s obvious inadequacy.

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Trouble is, for a Nat to seek Helen’s help in getting a knighthood might be a tad dishonourable

January 27, 2013

Ah, so that’s how it’s done.

It is no secret that Alf has considered himself egregiously neglected by those who decide who should be gonged at New Year and in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

The knighthood he covets has eluded him.

Now he knows what must be done, although, fair to say, it calls for somewhat extreme measures.

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Did anyone tell the Duke he was being honoured by joining the likes of Jonathan Hunt?

June 4, 2012

Would this look better on Alf than it does on Jonathan?

Alf resisted the temptation on Saturday (it was just the small whiff of a temptation) to prematurely further spread the news of Prince Philip’s appointment as an additional Member of the Order of New Zealand.

It was fit and proper that the announcement be made officially and that The Boss could tell us the appointment is as much about recognising the Queen as it is her husband.

He said the honour marked both the Queen and Prince Philip’s commitment to New Zealand and their remarkable contribution.

In Alf’s humble opinion the list of award winners is getting a bit long, for this very special honour.

But the Duke is a grand chap and thoroughly worthy.

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Hitler’s birthplace is moved and his honours removed: a cautionary tale about local body reform

July 9, 2011

He was a cute little bastard at this age...

Funny buggers, your Austrians.

They gave civilization Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Mahler and a bunch of Strausses.

But they contributed to decivilization, too.

They gave us Maria Anna Schicklgruber, who spawned an illegitimate baby who became a bigger bastard when he grew up.

One of the great bastards of history, actually.

Yep. Adolf Hitler.

But it has taken some time for some bits of Austria to recognise it’s a bad look to keep Adolf on as an honorary citizen.

A few weeks back, several towns in Austria were checking their archives to see if Adolf Hitler was still an honorary citizen of their communities.

It follows an announcement by the town of Amstetten that – more than 60 years after his death – it was finally revoking Hitler’s honorary title.

Hitler visited Amstetten – west of Vienna – in 1938, and was made an honorary citizen the following year.

Just one thing bothers Alf about this.

It’s the small matter of the role played by the Green Party in having Hitler dishonoured.

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Cooking doyen’s admission of dithering should disqualify her from being dubbed a dame

December 31, 2010

Guess which one is a wee bit embarrassed.

Alf has gone into a steep decline this morning, on learning he has missed out yet again on a gong in the New Year’s Honours.

He wonders what more he can do to be dubbed a knight, bearing in mind his long service to his community and his admiration for the monarchy.

He also questions why awards are being dished out to people who are reluctant to express their undiluted delight but – to the contrary – proteset that they are underserving or some such. If they are reluctant to pick up these honours, then indeed they are undeserving.

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Disqualified for being sane – is that why Alf’s name is absent from today’s list of new knights?

June 7, 2010

Alf is sulking again this morning, despite Mrs Grumble’s best efforts to condition him for disappointing news.

If you were in for a knighthood, she was saying last week, the functionaries in charge of these things would have let you know.

Alf remained hopeful.

But no, damn it, he has missed out again.

The best construction he can put on the absence of his name from the list of Queen’s Birthday Honours published today is that they are honouring lunatics these days instead of hard-working, long-serving members for Eketahuna North.

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Great – a gong for the wind, but those lesser awards for policy wonks leave a sour taste

December 31, 2009

Mrs Grumble is keeping out of Alf’s way today, as she usually does when the new year and birthday honours lists are published.

She knows full well that Alf will be grouchy for a day or two because he has been overlooked yet again for a title.

He will be especially grouchy this time, because one of the big gongs has gone to Helen Clark.

Alf bitterly recalls that knighthoods and damehoods – some of the plums for being part of the glorious British Commonwealth of Nations – were scrapped under her leadership.

Now she has been awarded the country’s highest honour, membership of the Order of New Zealand, in the New Year Honours announced this morning.

The former prime minister becomes the 17th member of an order that can have no more than 20 living New Zealanders as members at any time.

Yesterday, taking a break from her schedule as administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, she looked every bit a former Labour Party leader, dressed in a red jacket at the Waihi Beach home of her parents, Margaret and George.

She said the award came as a surprise. “I really didn’t expect it. But the reality is that, generally, people from previous administrations have been recognised, so I guess the same traditions apply. Perhaps it was the timing of it.”

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

We Nats have spent the past decade trying to tip her and her gaggle of leftie social engineers out of office, complaining all the while about how they are botching things and making New Zealand a place that is encouraging emigration.

Now we reward her.

And get this…

The honour’s citation simply says, “For services to New Zealand”.

For what?

That’s a bit like Alf having to pay his builder “for services rendered,” even though the clumsy bugger punctured a water pipe and the plumber had to be hired to put things right.

Then there are those lesser gongs that have been doled out to buggers who – so far as Alf can see – have done nothing much more than their jobs as public servants.

There’s nothing personal in the examples Alf cites here. It’s just that they are blokes who have been quietly getting on their work as bureaucrats.

Example number one: Timothy Charles Robert Horner, Otaki, for services to the New Zealand Customs Service.

Horner – Alf understands – is or was the Customs Service Group Manager Policy. A policy wonk, in other words.

He has managed Customs’ policy work since his appointment in 1998, leading a gang of wonks who provide advice to the Government and the Minister of Customs on border management issues, including international trade and international relations.

In effect, he has been rewarded for a decade of wonking.

And before that?

He joined Customs from the Department of Internal Affairs where he served for 20 years, initially as a manager in the Local Government division, and later as the Department’s Policy Manager for Gaming, Citizenship and Heritage issues.

Betcha his pants have a real shiny patch around the bum.

Then there’s an award to one Alan Bryan Kerr, of Wellington, for services to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

He’s another policy wonk.

Alf recalls a written question being put to Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton in 2007, back in the days when our capital city was Helengrad.

The question was put by our David Carter – a bloke who is worthy of an honour – who wanted to know who were the members of the Primary Industries Summit Steering Group.

The list of names supplied in reply included that of Alan Kerr (Director, International Policy, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry)…

On the other hand, Alf applauds the knighthood awarded to Arthur Douglas Myers, CBE, of London, for services to business and the community.

Myers was a beer baron, the boss of Lion Nathan.

His firm makes Steinlager, which makes Alf merry, if consumed in sufficient quantities. It also makes him burp.

Hence Myers can be said to have been honoured for his contribution to Alf’s belching – a gong for the wind.

Good on ya, Dame Margaret

August 14, 2009

Alf salutes Dame Margaret Shields, who – we are told – was pressured by former prime minister Helen Clark not to accept the title “Dame”.

But the former MP for Kapiti did not buckle, and this afternoon she will be invested as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
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A splendid burgeoning of dames and knights

August 1, 2009

Alf was delighted to hear that 72 recipients of the Principal and Distinguished Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit have decided to be re-designated as Knights and Dames

Them Labour wankers abolished the titles in 2000, but the people of New Zealand elected a much better government last year, and it has restored the honours.

Eighty-five New Zealanders were eligible to accept top honours after The Queen approved the reinstatement of the titles to the first two levels of the New Zealand Order of Merit in March.
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