1 Aug 2009

Most choose to take up imperial titles

3:22 pm on 1 August 2009

Most of those eligible for the titles of Sir and Dame have chosen to take up the honours.

The National Government has restored the titles abolished by Labour in 2000.

The Government offered 85 people appointed Principal or Distinguished Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the eight years since the change, the chance to be re-designated as a Sir or Dame.

All but 13 have agreed to take up the titular honours.

Those who have accepted include Lloyd Geering, Ngatata Love and Lynley Dodd.

However, Maori academic Ranginui Walker has turned down the offer.

Dr Walker says the English tradition does not fit with New Zealand's social structure.

The new Knight and Dame titles will be formally bestowed at a ceremony at Old St Paul's church in Wellington in two weeks.