New Zealand Herald Extraordinary

New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary is the officer of arms responsible for the regulation of heraldry in New Zealand. Although affiliated with the College of Arms in London, New Zealand Herald lives and works in New Zealand, and is not a member of the College Chapter. The current New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary is Phillip Patrick O’Shea.

Historical background

Consideration was given in 1975 to establishing an independent heraldic authority in New Zealand. In particular there were proposals for a new provincial king of arms, titled New Zealand King of Arms, to be under the Earl Marshal and Garter Principal King of Arms. This would have been an officer of arms in ordinary and a part of the corporation of the College of Arms. It was decided however to continue to use the College of Arms.

On 6 February 1978, Phillip (some sources indicate "Phillippe") Patrick O'Shea was appointed as the first New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary to Her Majesty The Queen. The appointment was made by royal warrant of the Queen of New Zealand addressed to the Earl Marshal of England. Having been accomplished in this way, New Zealand Herald's appointment was unlike other extraordinary heralds and more akin to that of officers of arms in ordinary. Neither the warrant of appointment nor any other mention of the existence of the position has been published in the New Zealand Gazette.

Heraldic duties

Unlike some Commonwealth realms that have set up their own local heraldic authorities (most notably Canada), armorial ensigns in New Zealand continue to be granted by the Kings of Arms of the College of Arms in London. New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary has no autonomous power to grant arms. However, New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary represents the College of Arms in New Zealand, is deputy in that country to Garter Principal King of Arms, and is ex officio a member of the Royal Household. The New Zealand Herald Extraordinary is also the Herald of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Since the creation of the office of New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary in 1978, letters patent issued through by the College of Arms to New Zealanders have de-emphasised their English character. Thus, the Earl Marshal is simply noted as "Earl Marshal" rather than "Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England". In the same way, the Queen's New Zealand royal style has been used rather than that of the United Kingdom.

Badge of office

The badge of office of New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary is blazoned A complex Māori Koru coloured in the traditional manner proper ensigned by a representation of the Royal Crown also proper. The Koru design is used to decorate the rafters of Māori meeting houses, where important ceremonies take place, and it is also found on a number of objects at these ceremonial gatherings. The loops and coils of the Koru also represent the complex Māori genealogical tree of the Whakapapa. Māori genealogy is based for the most part on oral evidence and tradition, and in art the Koru is used to represent this.

Phillip O'Shea

Phillip Patrick O’Shea, CNZM, LVO was born on 23 March 1947 in Wellington, and educated at St. Patrick's College, Wellington and Victoria University of Wellington. He was Librarian and numismatic advisor to Treasury from 1967-74, Advisory Officer (Honours) to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1974, and New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary to the Queen from 1978. Note that his first name was registered as Phillippe, and is occasionally mis-spelt Philip.


  • Squibb, George, "Heraldic Authority in the British Commonwealth" (1968) Coat of Arms vol 10 no 76 p 125
  • O'Shea, P.P., "The Office of the New Zealand Herald of Arms" (1982) 20 New Zealand Armorist 7
  • Macaulay, G.A., "Honours and Arms: Legal and Constitutional Aspects of Practice concerning Heraldry and Royal Honours in New Zealand" (1994) 5 Canterbury Law Review 381
  • Innes, Sir Malcolm, of Edingight, "New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary" (1979) 3 Commonwealth Heraldry Bulletin
  • Innes, Sir Malcolm, of Edingight, "New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary" (1979) 13 Heraldry in Canada 34
  • Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw, "The Conflict of heraldic laws" (1988) Juridical Review 61
  • Cox, Noel, "The Law of Arms in New Zealand" (1998) 18 (2) New Zealand Universities Law Review 1
  • Cox, Noel, "The Law of Arms in New Zealand" (2002) 29 Heraldry News, the Journal of Heraldry Australia Inc. 13
  • Lambert, Max, "Who’s Who in New Zealand" (1991, Reed, Wellington, 12th edn) ISBN 0790001306

See also

External links

Search another word or see armoriston Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature