10 Mar 2009

McKinnon knighted for service to Commonwealth, NZ

5:30 am on 10 March 2009

Former deputy Prime Minister and Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon has been appointed a Knight by the Queen in recognition of his service.

Sir Don served two terms as Secretary-General between 2000 and 2008.

He has been made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, an award which is made personally by the Queen recognising services to the Sovereign.

The announcement was made on Commonwealth Day - which marked its 60th anniversary on Monday - and came 10 days after Sir Don was invested with the Order of New Zealand.

Prime Minister John Key says Sir Don was the country's longest serving Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and his contribution to New Zealand is well known.

The Commonwealth is an association of 53 nation states including Australia, Britain Canada and New Zealand.