The release of the Queens Birthday and New Years Honours lists may be not be an event that many kiwi music fans hang out for, but actually, over the years many musicians have been recognised. In this years Queens Birthday list 1960's kiwi guitar legend Peter Posa got the nod, being made a member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to music. Posa joins a long list of musicians who have been honoured in recent years including Mahinarangi Tocker (MNZM), Eddie Low (MNZM), Tina Cross (Officer of the NZ Order of Merit) check out her website, it's kind of scary, Whirimako Black (ONZM), Midge Marsden (MNZM) and Bic Runga (MNZM).
Go back a few years earlier and the list includes Moana Maniapoto (MNZM 2004), the Dobber (ONZM 2003), Mike Chunn (ONZM 2002), Wayne Mason (MNZM 2002) and David Kilgour (MNZM 2001).
An ONZM is equivalent to an OBE in old money, while an MNZM replaced an MBE in changes made to the honours system in the mid 1990s. Ray Columbus picked up an OBE in 1974 and Howard Morrison became Sir when he was knighted in 1990. (The granting of the titles Sir and Dame was dropped in 2000). You can see Ray Columbus and The Invaders on the video page.
This episode of Counting The Beat features some of the music of those who have received royal or state recognition for their musical contribution to the country. Think of it as taking a listen to the Governor General's iPod. Although, I'm not sure what he'd make of the Howard Morrison track.
Note: Quite a few of the links in this post take you to a site named New Zealand Music of the 60s, 70s and a Bit of the 80s. It's probably the most comprehensive and valuable reference sites around on NZ music of that era and is well worth a look.
Download the Counting The Beat - On the Governor General's iPod podcast