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New Zealand actor Sam Neill awarded knighthood

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FANZA arts patron Sam Neill has been made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. 

The Jurassic Park star, who grew up in Christchurch, NZ, was honoured with the title of “Sir” on Tuesday this week as Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro tapped his shoulders with the sword. He posed for a picture with Dame Cindy, proudly wearing his medal about his neck, and posted it to Instagram. 

‘Greatly honoured today by the Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro at Govt House Auckland,’ he captioned the image. ‘Redesignated K.N.Z.M. ( Knight ), Dame Cindy kind enough to tap me with The Sword. Big day, and I’m very grateful.’

Sir Sam was originally appointed a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DCNZM) during the 2007 New Year Honours.

According to the New Zealand government, the title is “for those persons who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions or other merits”.

The Northern Ireland-born actor was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) during the 1991 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Both titles were awarded based on his distinguished acting career, which stretches back to 1975, and his contribution to the mentorship of budding actors.  

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