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High honours for Sir Peter Jackson, Bret McKenzie

Published: 5:22AM Monday June 04, 2012 Source: ONE News

Sir Peter Jackson, Bret McKenzie and Steve Hansen are among prominent New Zealanders recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list today.

Sir Peter has been given the highest honour in this year's list. The filmmaker has been made an additional member to the Order of New Zealand, along with Prince Philip, opera diva Dame Malvina Major and distinguished public servant Dame Margaret Clara Bazley.

The multi-millionaire director has been recognised for his service to New Zealand's film industry.

Sir Peter, who put New Zealand on the world movie map, began his career in his parents' backyard as he made short films with a home movie camera. The early talent blossomed with the murder drama Heavenly Creatures, before he embarked on the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy - the last instalment of which won a record 11 Academy Awards.

The 50-year-old is also famous for his remake of King Kong, The Adventures of Tintin, and is currently working on the Hobbit.

He is one of the founders of Wellington-based special effects company Weta Workshop and its digital division, Weta Digital.

He has also been recognised for his commitment to New Zealand causes. He has donated to Epilepsy Research and Give Life organ donation awareness charity.

Sir Peter was knighted in 2010 and was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2002.

Distinguished public servant Dame Margaret has also been made an additional member to the Order of New Zealand.

Dame Margaret, who has been recognised for her service to the public sector, has held senior roles in the health sector for over 50 years and most recently was Chair of the New Zealand Fire Service Commission from 1999 to 2011.

Prince Philip, who is the Field Marshall of the New Zealand Army, Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, also received the honour.

Prince Philip's time supporting the Queen as royal consort exceeds that of any other consort in British history.

The Order is limited to 20 living people at any one time, although additional members can be appointed on important Royal, State or national occasions.

McKenzie has been made an Officer of the Order of New Zealand for his services to music.

McKenzie, who is best known for his role on Flight of the Conchords, was awarded the Oscar for best original song with Man or Muppet, from The Muppets movie, joining a small group of New Zealanders who have received an Academy Award.

Hansen, who was Graham Henry's assistant for eight years, culminating in Rugby World Cup victory last year, has been made a CNZM for services to rugby.

Hansen was named as head coach of the All Blacks in December, and will most likely coach the team through to the defence of the 2015 World Cup.

Also making this year's list is former All Black John Kirwan and former Finance Minister Michael Cullen, who have both been knighted.

Pieter Stewart has been made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of merit for services to the fashion industry and the community.

High profile psychologist Nigel Latta becomes an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services as a psychologist.

And veteran television newsreader Dougal Stevenson receives the Queen's Service Medal for services to broadcasting.

Click here for the Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List .

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