New Zealand Cross
Image courtesy of Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet of New Zealand
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The New Zealand Cross was established by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand by Royal Warrant on September 20, 1999. It replaces the original New Zealand Cross of 1869, and is the highest decoration of the New Zealand Bravery Awards, which were introduced in 1999 to replace British bravery awards in the New Zealand award system. The New Zealand Cross was created to reward acts of outstanding bravery demonstrated during dangerous situations where the recipient put their life at risk to save or attempt to save the life of another. The New Zealand Cross is mainly reserved for New Zealand civilians, however it may be awarded to military personnel when appropriate. It may also be awarded to citizens of Commonwealth countries, or other foreigners. It may be awarded posthumously.
Silver clasps in the shape of two New Zealand fern fronds are awarded for further demonstrations of outstanding bravery. Recipients of the New Zealand Cross are entitled to use the post-nominal letters NZC.
The reverse inscription appears in English and Maori. There is also an engraving of the recipient’s name on the reverse.
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