Anand Satyanand

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Sir Anand Satyanand

Anand Satyanand 2014.jpg
19th Governor-General of New Zealand
In office
23 August 2006 23 August 2011
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Helen Clark
John Key
Preceded by Silvia Cartwright
Succeeded by Jerry Mateparae
Personal details
Born (1944-07-22) 22 July 1944 (age 74)
Auckland, New Zealand
Spouse(s)Susan Sharpe, QSO
Alma mater University of Auckland
Profession Lawyer

Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM QSO KStJ (born 22 July 1944) is a former lawyer, judge and ombudsman who served as the 19th Governor-General of New Zealand from 2006 to 2011. He was chair of the Commonwealth Foundation for two 2-year terms, ending December 2016. [1] He then chaired the Commonwealth Observation Group of the National Elections of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea in 2017. [2] In 2018, the New Zealand Government appointed him to lead the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Institutions and Faith-based Institutions, which is scheduled to continue until 2020. [3]

Lawyer legal professional who helps clients and represents them in a court of law

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.

Judge official who presides over court proceedings

A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and, typically, in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury. In inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an examining magistrate.

Ombudsman government service charged with investigating complaints of maladministration or violation of rights

An ombudsman, ombudsperson, ombud, or public advocate is an official who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints of maladministration or a violation of rights. The ombudsman is usually appointed by the government or by parliament, but with a significant degree of independence. In some countries an inspector general, citizen advocate or other official may have duties similar to those of a national ombudsman, and may also be appointed by a legislature. Below the national level an ombudsman may be appointed by a state, local or municipal government. Unofficial ombudsmen may be appointed by, or even work for, a corporation such as a utility supplier, newspaper, NGO, or professional regulatory body.


Early life and family

Satyanand putting flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown warrior, April 2011 Anand Satyanand - ANZAC Day-2011.jpg
Satyanand putting flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown warrior, April 2011

Satyanand was born and raised in Auckland to an Indo-Fijian family in 1944. His grandparents arrived in Fiji from India in 1911, and his grandfather worked as a government interpreter. [4] His father, Dr Mutyala Satyanand OBE CF, was born in Sigatoka in 1913 and arrived in New Zealand in 1927 to attend high school and later university. [5] His mother Tara Tillak was from Suva, and trained as a Karitane nurse in New Zealand. [4] She married Mutyala Satyanand in 1940, after moving to New Zealand. [4]

Fiji Country in Oceania

Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, and Tuvalu to the north. Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands—of which 110 are permanently inhabited—and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres (7,100 sq mi). The most outlying island is Ono-i-Lau. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the total population of 898,760. The capital, Suva, on Viti Levu, serves as the country's principal cruise-ship port. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres such as Nadi—where tourism is the major local industry—or Lautoka, where the sugar-cane industry is paramount. Due to its terrain, the interior of Viti Levu is sparsely inhabited.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Sigatoka town in Fiji

Sigatoka is a town in Fiji. It is found on the island of Viti Levu and is situated at the mouth of the Sigatoka River, after which it is named, some 61 kilometres from Nadi. In Fiji's last census (2007) the population of Sigatoka was at 9,622. Sigatoka is the principal urban centre for the province of Nadroga-Navosa.

Satyanand attended Sacred Heart College in Auckland, and then undertook the medical intermediate course at the University of Otago in Dunedin. [6] He was not successful in gaining entry to the medical school and later said " reality I did not do well enough ... (but)... Looking back over that year, I remembered that one of the things I had really enjoyed was the debating and forum meetings involving students." [7] So instead he turned to law studies, working part-time as a law clerk in Auckland. [4] He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Auckland in 1970. He worked as a lawyer for the next 12 years, some of that with the Crown Solicitor's firm and then as a Partner with the legal firm Shieff Angland. [4] His legal work centred on criminal law and revenue law. He served on the Council of the Auckland District Law Society from 1979 until his appointment as a Judge of the District Court of New Zealand in 1982.

Sacred Heart College, Auckland secondary school in New Zealand

Sacred Heart College is a secondary school in Auckland, New Zealand. It is a Catholic, Marist College set on 60 acres (24 ha) of land overlooking the Tamaki Estuary in Glen Innes.

University of Otago university in New Zealand

The University of Otago is a collegiate university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It scores highly for average research quality, and in 2006 was second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland in the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs. In the past it has topped the New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund evaluation.

The Bachelor of Laws is an undergraduate degree in law originating in England and offered in Japan and most common law jurisdictions—except the United States and Canada—as the degree which allows a person to become a lawyer. It historically served this purpose in the U.S. as well, but was phased out in the mid-1960s in favor of the Juris Doctor degree, and Canada followed suit.

During the 1966 general election, Satyanand helped Clive Edwards (later Tongan Deputy Prime Minister) when he stood in Auckland Central for National. [8] Later, in the 1975 general election Satyanand and his wife helped David Lange in his first, unsuccessful attempt at election (for Labour, in the seat of Hobson). [4]

David Lange 32nd Prime Minister of New Zealand

David Russell Lange was a New Zealand politician who served as the 32nd Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1984 to 1989.

In 1995 he was appointed an Ombudsman, and he served two 5-year terms. Between 2005 and his appointment as Governor-General he chaired the Confidential Forum for Former In-Patients of Psychiatric Hospitals, reviewed the Banking Ombudsman scheme, and installed the Pecuniary Interests Register and Scheme for Members of Parliament. [4]

Satyanand has been married to Susan Sharpe since 1970. She was born in Sydney, Australia in 1947 and moved to New Zealand with her family in 1955. Susan and Anand have three adult children. [9] Satyanand's daughter Anya is an advocate of gay marriage, being in a civil union with her partner Ange. [10] In 2002, Satyanand and his wife were involved in a serious car accident in Dome Valley north of Warkworth, Northland, where an oncoming car crossed the centre line and crashed head-on into their car. Both were injured, and Satyanand, suffered serious spinal injury; he broke his C2 and C3 vertebrae, and had to wear a halo traction to keep his head straight. [11]

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Civil union has been legal in New Zealand since 26 April 2005. The Civil Union Act 2004 to establish the institution of civil union for same-sex and opposite-sex couples was passed by the Parliament on 9 December 2004. The Act has been described as very similar to the Marriage Act 1955 with references to "marriage" replaced by "civil union". A companion bill, the Relationships Act, was passed shortly thereafter on 15 March 2005, to remove discriminatory provisions on the basis of relationship status from a range of statutes and regulations. As a result of these bills, all couples in New Zealand, whether married, in a civil union, or in a de facto partnership, now generally enjoy the same rights and undertake the same obligations. These rights extend to immigration, next-of-kin status, social welfare, matrimonial property and other areas. Non-married couples are not however permitted to adopt children, although people in non-marital relationships can adopt as individuals.

As well as English, Satyanand also speaks some Fijian, Hindi, and Māori.

Governor-General of New Zealand

In 2006, Satyanand was appointed Governor-General of New Zealand by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Prime Minister Helen Clark. [12] [ not in citation given ] He replaced Dame Silvia Cartwright as Governor-General on 23 August 2006. [13] His appointment was welcomed by every Parliamentary party leader. [14] He was the first Governor-General of Indian descent and the first Roman Catholic Governor-General. [15] [16]

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Grand Prior of the Order of St John, received Satyanand as Governor-General designate on 7 July 2006 and invested him as a Knight of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (KStJ). [17]

In May 2007 changes were made to the Queen's Service Order. Under the previous Royal Warrant, the Governor-General was ex-officio Principal Companion of the Order but was not a member of the Order. The Royal Warrant now provides for the appointment of the Governor-General as a Companion of the Order in his or her own right. [18] [19] [20]

The first bill to which he granted Royal Assent was the Coroners Bill.

Starting on New Year's Day 2009, Satyanand issued a "New Year's Message" intended to highlight "issues New Zealanders might consider as they looked to the future". [21]

Satyanand was the first Governor-General not to hold a knighthood before entering office (Colonel Thomas Gore Browne, Governor of New Zealand 1855–1861, was knighted in office). However, following the changes to the New Zealand honours system announced by Prime Minister John Key on 8 March 2009, [22] the Queen approved Satyanand's redesignation from a Principal Companion in the New Zealand Order of Merit (PCNZM) to a Knight Grand Companion of that Order (GNZM) on 27 March 2009. [23] [23] [24] [25] [26]

On assuming the role of Governor-General he received the style The Honourable for life; in 2010, he was advanced to the style of The Right Honourable. This style was accorded for life to all future Governors-General, Prime Ministers, Chief Justices, and Speakers of Parliament. [27]

Satyanand completed his term of office as Governor-General on 23 August 2011 [28]


The New Zealand Government pays for the costs associated with the Queen's representative, the Governor-General, in their exercising of the powers of the Crown on behalf of the Queen, including travel, security, residences, offices, ceremonial occasions. In the 2010 Budget, the total cost of supporting the Governor-General was $3,591,000 for Support Services and Maintenance of the residences, $1,710,000 for Depreciation Expenses on Government Houses, $1,279,000 Remuneration and Travel and an estimated $1,680,000 for Policy Advice and Co-ordination; a total of $7,610,000. And $11 million on capital investment in Government House, Wellington, principally used for its conservation, a total of over $18 million. [29]

Fijian coup talks

On 30 November 2006 Satyanand hosted a meeting between the Prime Minister of Fiji Laisenia Qarase and Fiji's military commander Commodore Frank Bainimarama at Government House in Wellington in an attempt to resolve the escalating crisis in Fiji. Although he hosted the meeting, he did not take part in the discussions, which were chaired by New Zealand's then Foreign Minister, Winston Peters. [30] This was the last serious effort by the international community to avert a military coup, which followed on 5 December.

Public transport in Auckland

At the opening of the new New Lynn Train Station on 25 September 2010, Satyanand stated heavy investment in motorways and the decline of public transport after trams were taken off the roads in the 1950s had led to severe congestion to the detriment of both individuals and the economy. [31]

Paul Henry controversy

On 5 October 2010, TVNZ Breakfast show host Paul Henry questioned whether Satyanand was "even a New Zealander". He then repeated the question, saying of Satyanand's replacement, "Are you going to choose a New Zealander who looks and sounds like a New Zealander this time ... are we going to go for someone who is more like a New Zealander this time?" [32] [33] Henry attracted criticism from both sides of politics and New Zealand's race relations commissioner Joris de Bres. Henry later apologised, [32] [34] was suspended, and then resigned from TVNZ. [35]

Subsequent roles

Since returning to regular civilian life, Satyanand and his wife have remained in Wellington. He was Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation for two 2-year terms, ending December 2016. [1] He then led the Commonwealth team in observing the National Elections of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. [2] He maintains active interests in several organisations, including as President of the NZ Institute of International Affairs and as a member of Transparency International's Anti-Corruption Council. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the University of Auckland Law School, visiting on a monthly basis. Susan and Anand are both active members of the Rotary Club of Wellington; both have been made Paul Harris Fellows, and Satyanand received the Rotary International Award of Honour in 2011. [36]

Styles and honours

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  1. 1 2 "Sir Anand Satyanand appointed Chair of the Commonwealth Foundation" . Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Sir Anand Satyanand leads Commonwealth election observer mission to Papua New Guinea". Commonwealth of Nations. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  3. "Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions Order 2018" . Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Leckie, Jacqueline (2014). "Anand Satyanand: a prominent son of the indian diaspora". New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  5. Satyanand, Anand (14 January 2003). "Mutyala Satyanand". The New Zealand Medical Journal. 116 (1168). Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  6. Gibb, John (15 December 2008). "Governor-General notes proud history of Otago university". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 14 December 2008.
  7. Graham Weir. "New Governor General, Anand Satyanand, is a former ADLS council member". Law News. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2007.
  8. The New Zealand Herald, A natural in the Big House. Saturday 23 September 2006 Source
  9. NZ Governor General's website Archived 14 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Union and marriage it's not quite even". The Dominion Post . 19 May 2012.
  11. Audrey Young (4 April 2006). "'Satch' the survivor wins top job". New Zealand Herald.
  12. "Buckingham Palace press release" . Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  13. "Commission Appointing Anand Satyanand, P.C.N.Z.M., to be Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Realm of New Zealand" (24 August 2006) 101 The New Zealand Gazette 2995
  14. PM welcomes Anand Satyanand as next Governor-General Archived 11 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine , New Zealand Government press release
  15. McLean 2006, p. 347.
  16. "Welcome to the official web site of the British Monarchy". Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  17. Statutes of the Queen's Service Order (SR 1975/200) Archived 22 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine Reg 4.
  18. "Special Honours List – The Queen's Service Order" (24 May 2007) 56 The New Zealand Gazette 1423 at 1451.
  19. Beehive – Changes to QSO and QSM Honours affect Gov Gen [ not in citation given ] Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  20. "Governor-General issues New Year message for 2009". Government House. 2 January 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
  21. " – Titular Honours to be reinstated". The Beehive. Archived from the original on 22 May 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  22. 1 2 "Special Honours List" (12 August 2009) 118 The New Zealand Gazette 2691.
  23. "Arise, Sir Anand". The New Zealand Herald . 28 March 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  24. Additional Statutes of The New Zealand Order of Merit (SR 2009/90) reg 3(2)(a)&(c)
  25. "Queen approves title changes; Gov-General knighted" . Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  26. "Use of the title 'The Right Honourable' in New Zealand".
  27. "Revocation of the Commission Appointing The Right Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand, GNZM, QSO, to be Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Realm of New Zealand" (22 August 2011) 129 The New Zealand Gazette 3617.
  28. "Vote Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet" (PDF). New Zealand Treasury. 20 May 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 May 2010. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  29. "Talks on Fiji situation constructive, says Peters". Auckland Fiji Community. 30 November 2006.
  30. Mathew Dearnaley (25 September 2010). "Governor General slams Auckland's traffic congestion". New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  31. 1 2 "TVNZ's Paul Henry slammed over Governor-General remarks". The Spy Report. Media Spy. 4 October 2010. Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  32. "Henry causes a stir – again". Stuff. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  33. "TV race row over Queen's N.Zealand representative". AFP. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  34. "TVNZ reverses course, suspending Paul Henry". The Spy Report. Media Spy. 5 October 2010. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
  35. "Keynote address to Rotary District Training Assembly]". 10 April 2016.

Further reading

Government offices
Preceded by
Silvia Cartwright
Governor-General of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Jerry Mateparae