New Zealand’s Head of State approves new medal

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New Zealand Defence Force personnel now have a new honour; the New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) has been approved by the Queen Elizabeth II of New Zealand, Prime Minister Helen Clark has said.

The Distinguished Service Decoration is designed to recognise distinguished military service by regular, territorial and reserve members of the Defence Force, including command, leadership and service in an operational environment, or in support of operations, both at home and abroad, says Clark

Defence Minister Phil Goff said that until 1995 this type of service was recognised by awards of the British Empire Medal (Military Division) and the lower levels of the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire.

“Since the change to a totally New Zealand honours system in 1996, awards at these levels have not been available,”

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae, says the award is an important addition to the country’s honour system and will be highly regarded like the Queen’s Service Medal.

He says more than 700 personnel are on operations or deployment and that “the DSD is an important addition to the New Zealand Honours system”, and will enjoy precedence comparable to that of The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) and the recently instituted New Zealand Antarctic Medal (NZAM).

The new medal will be made of Sterling Silver. The obverse design is a representation of eight blades of a Kotiate (lobed club) in a circle with a Royal Crown in the centre. The front four blades are in frosted silver, the rear blades are polished silver. The reverse bears the inscription “For Distinguished Service” in English and Maori. The ribbon is dark blue and red, the colours of the British Distinguished Service Order ribbon, with two narrow yellow stripes that signify achievement.

David Baguley, Director Honours Secretariat shows the Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae the new distinguished service decoration.

The first awards will be announced on June 4th’s Queen’s Birthday honours list. Recipients will be entitled to use the initials “D.S.D.” after t … Read More

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