A report on Governor-General of New Zealand

Sir Keith Holyoake, a former prime minister, was a controversial choice as Governor-General.
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy (right) takes the affirmation after being sworn in by the Chief Justice, Dame Sian Elias, on 28 September 2016
Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae performs a hongi with the Prime Minister at his swearing-in ceremony outside parliament, 31 August 2011
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy presides over the swearing in of the new Sixth Labour Government on 26 October 2017
Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae reads a speech from the throne at the opening of parliament, 2011
Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys receives US President Bill Clinton at Government House, Wellington, 11 September 1999
Government House, Wellington, the primary residence of the governor-general
The official vehicle of Government House in 2010, a Jaguar XJ8. During official travel it is the only vehicle in the country not required to use standard number plates.
Military personnel holding the governor-general's flag. This flag was first flown on 5 June 2008.
Lord Islington in the traditional ceremonial uniform
Document appointing William Hobson as Lieutenant Governor of New Zealand in 1839
William Hobson, first Governor of New Zealand
Sir George Grey, twice Governor of New Zealand and later Premier
Hercules Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead Proclamation as Governor (1879)
Dame Catherine Tizard, the first female governor-general, appointed in 1990
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne with Governor-General of Australia David Hurley and Linda Hurley in 2021

Viceregal representative of the monarch of New Zealand, currently Queen Elizabeth II.

- Governor-General of New Zealand

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The Queen wearing her New Zealand insignia

Monarchy of New Zealand

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Constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of New Zealand.

Constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of New Zealand.

The Queen wearing her New Zealand insignia
Elizabeth II is the reigning sovereign of each of the 15 Commonwealth realms.
Charles, Prince of Wales, (pictured in New Zealand, 2015) is the heir apparent to the throne.
The Queen on a 2009 coin of the Cook Islands
Executive Councillors with Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy (front, centre), 26 October 2017
The Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, is greeted with a pōwhiri before addressing a crowd. Waitangi, December 1953.
King George VI speaks with a RNZAF Flight Lieutenant Les Munro at RAF Scampton, 27 May 1943
Queen Elizabeth II wore a korowai (woven Māori cloak) during her first tour of New Zealand in 1953–54.
New Zealand shilling coin, 1933, featuring a profile of King George V on the obverse
Queen Elizabeth II's personal flag for New Zealand, used solely by her in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand
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Charles, Prince of Wales, greets a crowd in Westport, 7 November 2015
A statue of Queen Victoria in Queens Gardens, Dunedin

Since the monarch resides in the United Kingdom (the oldest Commonwealth realm), most of the royal constitutional and ceremonial duties within the Realm of New Zealand are typically carried out by his or her representative, the governor-general of New Zealand.

Prime Minister of New Zealand

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Head of government of New Zealand.

Head of government of New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern is sworn in as the 40th prime minister by the governor-general, Dame Patsy Reddy, 26 October 2017
The prime minister chairs meetings of Cabinet, where government policy is formulated.
Premier House in Wellington is the prime minister's residence.
Henry Sewell, regarded as New Zealand's first premier
Richard Seddon styled himself "Prime Minister" in 1901
The 37th and 38th prime ministers of New Zealand, pictured in 2009: John Key meets his predecessor, Helen Clark.

They are responsible for chairing meetings of Cabinet; allocating posts to ministers within the government; acting as the spokesperson for the government; and providing advice to the sovereign or the sovereign's representative, the governor-general.

The General Assembly House in Auckland, 1861

New Zealand Parliament

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Unicameral legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives.

Unicameral legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives.

The General Assembly House in Auckland, 1861
Chamber of the House of Representatives, c. 1900–1902
Queen Elizabeth II at the Opening of Parliament in 1963
House of Representatives crest, surmounted by a St Edward's Crown
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the Opening of Parliament, 13 November 1986
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy giving Royal Assent to a bill for the first time. Government House, Wellington, 28 September 2016

The Queen is usually represented by her governor-general.

Sir George Grey in 1861

George Grey

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British soldier, explorer, colonial administrator and writer.

British soldier, explorer, colonial administrator and writer.

Sir George Grey in 1861
Drawing of Hōne Heke, who opposed Grey's governorship
Government House in Auckland, as painted by Edward Ashworth in 1842 or 1843
Painting of Sir George Grey by Daniel Louis Mundy 1860s
Portrait of Sir George Grey as Governor of the Cape Colony
Cabinet portrait of Grey, 1885
Statue of Sir George Grey in Albert Park, Auckland

He served in a succession of governing positions: Governor of South Australia, twice Governor of New Zealand, Governor of Cape Colony, and the 11th premier of New Zealand.

Letters Patent Constituting the Office of Governor-General of New Zealand

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Royal decree and a part of the uncodified New Zealand constitution.

Royal decree and a part of the uncodified New Zealand constitution.

The letters patent—essentially an open letter from the monarch (in this case, Queen Elizabeth II) that is a legal instrument—constitutes the office of governor-general as the monarch's representative in the Realm of New Zealand, vests executive authority in the governor-general, establishes the Executive Council to advise the governor-general, and makes provision for the exercise of the governor-general's powers should the office be vacant.

Executive Council of New Zealand

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The Executive Council of New Zealand (Te Komiti Matua o Aotearoa) is the full group of "responsible advisers" to the governor-general, who advise on state and constitutional affairs.

Official portrait, 2021

Cindy Kiro

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Official portrait, 2021
Kiro showing the Queen her insignia of Companion of the Queen's Service Order during a virtual private audience, 19 October 2021
Kiro and Richard Davies in London, June 2022

Dame Alcyion Cynthia Kiro (née Simpson; born 1958) is a New Zealand public health academic, administrator, and advocate, who has served as the 22nd governor-general of New Zealand since 21 October 2021.

Ministers of Peter Fraser's War Cabinet, 1941

Ministers in the New Zealand Government

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Ministers, in the New Zealand Government, are members of Parliament (MPs) who hold ministerial warrants from the Crown to perform certain functions of government.

Ministers, in the New Zealand Government, are members of Parliament (MPs) who hold ministerial warrants from the Crown to perform certain functions of government.

Ministers of Peter Fraser's War Cabinet, 1941
Ministers of the Coalition Cabinet, 1931

This includes formulating and implementing policies and advising the governor-general.

Realm of New Zealand

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The Realm of New Zealand consists of the entire area (or realm) in which the monarch of New Zealand functions as head of state.

The Realm of New Zealand consists of the entire area (or realm) in which the monarch of New Zealand functions as head of state.

The governor-general of New Zealand represents the monarch throughout the Realm of New Zealand, though the Cook Islands have an additional queen's representative.

The Waitangi Sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi

Treaty of Waitangi

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Treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by Captain William Hobson as consul for the British Crown and Māori chiefs (rangatira) from the North Island of New Zealand.

Treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by Captain William Hobson as consul for the British Crown and Māori chiefs (rangatira) from the North Island of New Zealand.

The Waitangi Sheet of the Treaty of Waitangi
James Busby, British Resident in New Zealand. He drafted a document known as the Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand.
Captain William Hobson
Rev Henry Williams, who translated the treaty into Māori with the help of his son Edward Marsh Williams.
A later reconstruction in a painting by Marcus King, depicting Tāmati Wāka Nene in the act of signing. Hobson is falsely shown in full uniform (he was actually wearing civilian clothing).
The location of Waitangi within New Zealand.
The group of nine documents that make up the Treaty of Waitangi.
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Beach front scene at Kohimarama, Auckland, circa 1860, with Bishop Selwyn's Mission station where the Kohimarama Conference was held. Two waka, and a group of whare, are visible in the foreground.
Lord and Lady Bledisloe announce the gift of land and Treaty House at Waitangi to the nation in 1932
Winston Peters (founder of the New Zealand First Party), who has campaigned for the removal of references to the Treaty of Waitangi from New Zealand Law
Reverse of a 1990 one dollar coin commemorating the sesquicentenary of the Treaty of Waitangi. Using a different design a much rarer New Zealand crown commemorative coin was also minted in 1935.

It was drafted with the intention of establishing a British Governor of New Zealand, recognising Māori ownership of their lands, forests and other possessions, and giving Māori the rights of British subjects.