Taika Waititi gives the Queen a message following honours list recognition

Taika Waititi has a message for the Queen after he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2020 Queen's Birthday honours list - "just thank you".

Waititi was appointed an ONZM for his services to film, praising his "international success and a film director".

He told The Project it's "quite nice" to be recognised in the honours list.

"It's not something you grow up thinking 'oh, I'm going to get myself the Order of Merit'. But when it's presented to you it's quite nice.

"Yeah, just thank you [to the Queen]. I know that she's got a lot going on on her birthday, so to make the list as well, it's a big deal."

The acclaimed director, writer and actor, who is currently based in the US, says he's getting used to the idea of having an ONZM.

"It's becoming more special to me because sometimes I feel like film isn't as important as more socially impactful rebels and healthcare and people who are really making a difference.

"But then the world does need entertainment and storytelling, otherwise the world would be a boring place, so you've gotta have art. So I think we're all doing our part in our own way."

Waititi was recognised for the ONZM for his recent win of the 2020 Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for his 'anti-hate satire' film JoJo Rabbit. The movie received six Academy Award nominations overall.

Among his many cinematic achievements listed, the Raukokore-born filmmaker was recognised for his 2010 film Boy, which became the highest-grossing New Zealand film - a record that Waititi went on to surpass with 2016's Hunt for the Wilderpeople, breaking the country's opening weekend record for a Kiwi film.

Watch him on The Project above.