Queen’s Service Medal (NZ)

The Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) was instituted by New Zealand in 1975, at the same time as the Queen’s Service Order (QSO).  The purpose of both the QSO and the QSM is to recognise voluntary service to the community and also elected or appointed public office. Military personnel are not eligible to be awarded the QSM for their military service, however, community service performed in a civilian capacity can be recognised by the award of the QSM. The ribbon has central alternating stripes of red ochre (kōkōwai), white and black in a descending step pattern from left to right with narrow red ochre edges. The design is based on the Māori Putama (stepped) pattern used in Tukutuku wall panels. It is usually interpreted as the ‘stairway to heaven’, but in this case alludes to ‘steps of service’.