New Zealand Cross
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The New Zealand Cross was established by the Governor of New Zealand, Sir George Bowen, on March 10, 1869. The Cross was created during the New Zealand Wars (1845-1872) to recognize local volunteers for acts of bravery who were ineligible to receive the Victoria Cross. Bowen had created the award of his own volition and only sought royal approval after the statutes had already been published. This sparked criticism in Britain, as it appeared that Bowen had been intruding on the powers of the Crown. There was however little that the Crown could do but to approve the Cross, as five had already been awarded.
The Cross was conferred upon members of the local militia and armed constabulary as well as upon local volunteers in recognition of acts of bravery in the face of the enemy. The Cross could be awarded more than once to the same recipient, in which case each additional award was represented by a silver clasp worn on the ribbon, but this never occurred. The last Cross was awarded in 1910. Only 23 crosses were ever awarded.
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