New Zealand Antarctic Medal

Obverse

In Sepetember 2006, Prime Minister Helen Clark recently announced that the Queen has approved the institution of The New Zealand Antarctic Medal. The new medal replaces the British Polar Medal and continues the tradition begun in 1904 of recognising the significant contribution which New Zealanders have made, and continue to make, to the protection and Helen Clark said that the criteria for the award of the Medal were developed in close consultation with those organisations with a close interest in the Antarctic.

The Medal may be awarded to New Zealanders and other persons who either individually or as members of the New Zealand programme in the Antarctic region have made an outstanding contribution to either exploration, scientific research, conservation, environmental protection, or knowledge of the Antarctic region, or in support of New Zealandıs objectives or operations, or both, in Antarctica.

The New Zealand Antarctic Medal is an important addition to New Zealand's honours system. The first recipients will be announced in the 2007 New Years Honours list.

Background

The New Zealand Antarctic Medal has been instituted as a New Zealand Royal Honour to replace the (British) Polar Medal. The Polar Medal was instituted in 1904 and awarded to those who had made notable contributions to the exploration and knowledge of Polar Regions and who, in doing so, had undergone the hazards and rigours imposed by the Polar environment to life and movement, whether by land, sea or air.

The 1995 Prime Ministerıs Honours Advisory Committee recommended that the Polar Medal should be retained and constituted under a New Zealand Royal Warrant. It also recommended that consideration should be given to renaming or reconstituting this award as ³The Antarctic Medal² to reflect the fact that it is relation to Antarctica that New Zealandıs endeavours and achievements have been made. Following consultation with interested groups, The New Zealand Antarctic Medal was formally instituted by The Queen on 1 September 2006.

Eligibility

The New Zealand Antarctic Medal may be awarded to those New Zealanders and other persons who either individually or as members of a New Zealand programme in the Antarctic region have made an outstanding contribution to exploration, scientific research, conservation, environmental protection, or knowledge of the Antarctic region; or in support of New Zealand's objectives or operations, or both, in the Antarctic region. The Medal will not be awarded for acts of bravery, for short-term acts of extreme endurance, for long service or for service in Antarctica generally. A full list of those awarded the NZAM can be found here...

Precedence

The New Zealand Antarctic Medal ranks as a sixth level award and takes precedence immediately following The Queen's Service Medal. Recipients may use the letters ³NZAM² after their name.

Design

The Medal is struck in Sterling Silver and retains the octagonal shape and white ribbon of the Polar Medal. The obverse bears the effigy of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley, FRBS, FSNAD, of the United Kingdom and the inscription Elizabeth II Queen of New Zealand. This effigy is also used on the New Zealand Gallantry and Bravery Awards. The reverse design shows a group of four Emperor Penguins on an Antarctic landscape with Mt Erebus in the background. The design of The New Zealand Antarctic Medal is the work of the New Zealand Herald of Arms, Phillip O'Shea, CNZM, LVO.

Posthumous Awards

The Medal may be awarded posthumously.

Announcement of Awards

Awards of the New Zealand Antarctic Medal will normally be announced in the regular New Year and Queenıs Birthday Honours Lists.

Lapel Badge

A distinctive Lapel Badge, for everyday wear, is issued to living recipients. This is in line with the lapel Badges and policy adopted for the various other distinctive New Zealand honours.

Further information may be found on the Honours Secretariat website http://www.honours.govt.nz



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