When we become a republic a new way of handing out national honours will emerge. Government House has announced Queen's Birthday Honours but Queen's Birthday Monday will not survive the transition to an elected head of state. At the same time the somewhat solemn, aristocratic and ecclesiastical approach to the awards ceremony will almost certainly give way (even more than it has already) to the more relevant traditions and tikanga of New Zealand and New Zealanders.
Handing out honours at New Years might remain a tradition but given most people are on their summer holiday we could just move the announcements to a national day that is more symbolic of the nation actually bestowing the recognition. I can see a future where the awards are made on Waitangi Day or Anzac Day. Perhaps even on Matariki. It would make sense to hand out the military awards on Anzac Day. The military awards are so often over shadowed by the main prizes that service men and women get little public recognition.
There won't be a wholesale change of course, but the system will naturally evolve and become more transparent. At present the whole system of handing out honours is mired in secrecy and accusations of nepotism and that is in no one's interest. The Queen's Service Order will be retired and titles like Knights and Dames may well fade away. Beginning the new republic will be a great opportunity to revitalise the way we give thanks and
recognition to all those people who work for the greater good.