New Zealand Bravery Awards
The New Zealand Bravery Awards are designed to recognise the actions of those persons who save or attempt to save the life of another person and in the course of which they place their own safety or life at risk.
The awards are primarily for civilians but may be awarded to military personnel for acts for which Gallantry or other awards are not appropriate.
The level of an award is generally determined by the nature of the incident which has resulted in an act of bravery, the degree of risk to the life of the person performing the act and his or her personal skills or qualifications relevant to the incident, and whether the actions were taken with disregard for his or her own safely.
The bravery awards, instituted by a Royal Warrant dated 20 September 1999, are:
- The New Zealand Cross (NZC)
"For acts of great bravery in situations of extreme danger".
- The New Zealand Bravery Star (NZBS)
"For acts of outstanding bravery in situations of danger".
- The New Zealand Bravery Decoration (NZBD)
"For acts of exceptional bravery in situations of danger".
- The New Zealand Bravery Medal (NZBM)
"For acts of bravery".
See the list of those awarded a New Zealand Bravery Award since 1999.
Nominations for Bravery Awards: see Nominations for Honours.
- The NZC is similar in design to the original NZC instituted by the Government in 1869 for award for acts of bravery during the land wars of the nineteenth century. The design has been amended by including gold New Zealand fern fronds (replacing gold laurel leaves) and the current Royal Crown (St Edward’s Crown) (replacing a Victorian crown). The cross is made of silver and gold.
The original New Zealand Cross (NZC) was instituted by an Order in Council, and later sanctioned by Queen Victoria, in 1869. It was for acts of bravery during the New Zealand Land Wars 1860-1872. In 1895, it was proposed that the NZC should be extended to cover acts of bravery by civilians, but this did not eventuate.
- The NZBS is a silver eight-pointed star, (four long and four short points). The design is the reverse of the shape of the NZC.
- The NZBD is a silver cross of similar shape to the NZC.
- The NZBM is a bronze medal bearing on the obverse (front) the effigy of The Queen.
All awards bear the inscription “FOR BRAVERY – MO TE MAIA” on the reverse.
The ribbon of the NZC is bright blue, a colour traditionally associated with bravery awards. The ribbons for the other awards are bright blue with either two, three or four red ochre (kokowai) additional stripes for the second, third and fourth levels accordingly.
Find more information about the Design and Manufacture of the Gallantry and Bravery Awards.