The argument is, I suppose, that the traditional British honours are internationally recognised. Everyone knows where you stand with a 'Sir' or a "Dame." Very true. Sporting such a title seems to be one of the truest indicators of criminality, venality or deviancy there is. Why would the New Zealand government want our best people to be associated with alleged fraudsters (2) and incompetent, shameless idiots like Sir Fred Goodwin (3), all the way up to bloody despots like Sir Robert Mugabe (4), Sir Nikolai Ceauşescu (5) and Sir Benito Mussolini (6).
An honour? I doubt it, except for people suffering from a massive cultural inferiority complex, who feel the need to grovel before a HEREDITARY MONARCH - an institution the absolute opposite of a honour system based on merit. No honour stemming from such a source is worth anything.
1 - 'Knighthoods brought back,' by Tracey Watkins, published in the Dominion Post, 9th of March, 2009. Reproduced on stuff.co.nz. (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2130467/Knighthoods-brought-back)2 - 'Stanford affair: Whistleblower speaks,' unattributed BBC News article, 5th of March, 2009. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7926895.stm)
3 - 'Sir Fred Goodwin refuses to give up £693,000 RBS pension,' by Katherine Griffiths, published in The Telegraph, 26th of February, 2009. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/financialcrisis/4840576/Sir-Fred-Goodwin-refuses-to-give-up-693000-RBS-pension.html)
4 - 'Mugabe stripped of knighthood,' unattributed Metro article, 25th of June, 2008. (http://www.metro.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=191290&in_page_id=34&in_a_source=)
5 - ibid.
6 - Wikipedia article, 'List of Honorary British Knights,' subsection 'Politics and Government,' viewed 9th of March, 2009. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_honorary_British_Knights#Politics_and_Government)