Ryan Bridge: Because he's worth it - congrats, Sir John!

OPINION: Sir John Key deserves his knighthood.

He's worked hard, served New Zealand as Prime Minister, managed the country through earthquakes, represented us well on the world stage and even withdrew Kiwi troops from a futile war in Afghanistan.

Before you jump on the anti-wealth bandwagon, his appointment has nothing to do with his amassing of a small fortune as an investment banker at Merril Lynch. The honour recognises outstanding service to the Crown and the public.

You might think Key shouldn't be recognised for simply doing his job.

But that's exactly what the honour is there to do - acknowledge well-known Kiwis doing important things. Politicians included.

Helen Clark, Jim Bolger, Don McKinnon and Jonathan Hunt are also among the country's top honours recipients.

Some people don't value politics. Others don't value sport - so maybe Richie McCaw shouldn't be in the top 20?

See, it's quite subjective. Ultimately, decisions on who gets what are made by the Prime Minister of the day. It's a judgement call influenced by a mix of tradition, bureaucratic advice and politics.

If you happen to think that Key didn't deserve it because politicians shouldn't be included in the honours, you're essentially in favour of scrapping the honours system in its current form.

If you think Key shouldn't have got it because he didn't achieve as much as Helen Clark or, of all people, Jonathan Hunt, you're deluded and probably blind-sided by ideology.

I'm not saying the honours system is perfect. If I had my way, I'd scrap it.

But until then, don't hate the player. Hate the game.

Ryan Bridge is the host of Your Sunday on Radiolive.