Queen's Service Order, Companion (2007-)
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The Queen’s Service Order of New Zealand was established by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand by Royal Warrant on March 13, 1975 to replace the Imperial Service Order. The Order was created to recognise valuable voluntary community service and meritorious civil service. The Order is reserved for civilians only and is awarded in the name of the Queen of New Zealand. The Queen's Service Order also has an associated Medal (The Queen's Service Medal).
The Order is composed of the Sovereign, a Principle Companion (Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief), and 1 level of Companion Membership. Companions are composed of Ordinary, Extra, Additional, and Honorary Members. Ordinary membership is conferred upon New Zealand or Commonwealth citizens. Extra Companions are conferred upon Princes and Princesses of the Blood Royal and members of the Royal Family, while Honorary membership is conferred upon foreigners. Additional members may be appointed to the Order on special occasions.
Ordinary membership is appointed to 50 members annually. Members are entitled to use the post-nominal letters QSO.
There are three versions of the Companion. The first two versions were awarded from 1975-2007 when the Companion was awarded to recognise public or community service. They feature inscriptions in English. The current no longer specifies the type of service rendered by the member and features both an English and Maori inscription. The full name of the appointee is engraved on the reverse. It is worn by men on a neck ribbon and by women on a bow.
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