From the latest Buckingham Palace press release:
At The Queen’s request, new rules for the granting and use of the title “The Right Honourable” will apply in New Zealand to preserve an important mark of distinction for the holders of the Nation’s highest public offices.Of course, the republican leveller Lewis Holden believes titles are just pompous holdovers, and insinuates that Her Majesty is being disrespectful in making this honour on the grounds that Prime Minister John Key reportedly said he was not interested. No kidding he's officially not interested, since obviously that would be akin to bestowing the honour upon himself. Mr. Holden is bright enough to see the political side of this, which means he's just being downright disingenuous with the ridiculous charge he levels at the Palace.
Henceforth, those appointed to the offices of the Governor-General, Prime Minister, Speaker and Chief Justice will be granted the title “The Right Honourable” ex officio, for life. This will bring a measure of association and continuity with the recent past; formerly, the most senior members of the Judiciary and the Executive in New Zealand gained this right upon appointment to the Privy Council, a practice which no longer exists.
In any event, this splendid decision by New Zealand (coming on the heels of its restoration of royal honours) is consistent with the practice in other Realms with the notable exception of Australia, whose prime ministers, chief justices and governors general seem content with the lower title, "The Honourable". Australia should immediately seek to reinstitute the grander honour for its highest office holders, if for no other reason than to bring it in line with the other Commonwealth Realms, like Canada and the United Kingdom.