|Governor-General of New Zealand |
Kāwana Tianara o Aotearoa (Māori)
|Style||Her Excellency the Right Honourable|
|Nominator||Prime Minister of New Zealand|
|Appointer||Monarch of New Zealand|
|Term length||At Her Majesty's pleasure (usually 5 years by convention)|
|Formation||3 May 1841|
|First holder|| William Hobson |
as Governor of New Zealand
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The Governor-General of New Zealand : Te Kāwana Tianara o Aotearoa) is the viceregal representative of the monarch of New Zealand, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is concurrently the monarch of 15 other Commonwealth realms, and lives in the United Kingdom (as her principal residence), she, on the advice of her New Zealand prime minister, appoints a governor-general to carry out her constitutional and ceremonial duties within the Realm of New Zealand.(Māori
Māori, also known as te reo, is an Eastern Polynesian language spoken by the Māori people, the indigenous population of New Zealand. Closely related to Cook Islands Māori, Tuamotuan, and Tahitian, it gained recognition as one of New Zealand's official languages in 1987. The number of speakers of the language has declined sharply since 1945, but a Māori language revitalisation effort slowed the decline, and the language has experienced a revival, particularly since about 2015.
A viceroy is an official who runs a country, colony, city, province, or sub-national state, in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roy, meaning "king". A viceroy's territory may be called a viceroyalty, though this term is not always applied. The adjective form is viceregal, less often viceroyal. The term vicereine is sometimes used to indicate a female viceroy suo jure, although viceroy can serve as a gender-neutral term. Vicereine is more commonly used to indicate a viceroy's wife.
The monarchy of New Zealand is the constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of New Zealand. The current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, ascended the throne on the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952. Elizabeth's eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales, is heir apparent.
The current office traces its origins to when the administration of New Zealand was placed under the Colony of New South Wales in 1839 and its governor was given jurisdiction over New Zealand. However, New Zealand would become its own colony the next year with its own governor. The modern "governor-general" and his or her functions came into being in 1917 and the office is currently mandated by letters patent issued in 1983, constituting "the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Realm of New Zealand".Constitutional functions of the governor-general include presiding over the Executive Council, appointing ministers and judges, granting Royal Assent to legislation, and summoning and dissolving parliament. These functions are generally exercised only according to the advice of an elected government. The governor-general also has an important ceremonial role: hosting events at Government House in Wellington, and travelling throughout New Zealand to open conferences, attend services and commemorations and generally provide encouragement to individuals and groups who are contributing to their communities. When travelling abroad, the governor-general is seen as the representative of New Zealand; for this reason, the governor-general is viewed by some as the de facto head of state.
The Colony of New South Wales was a colony of the British Empire from 1788 to 1900, when it became a State of the Commonwealth of Australia. At its greatest extent, the colony of New South Wales included the present-day Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia, the Northern Territory as well as New Zealand. The first "responsible" self-government of New South Wales was formed on 6 June 1856 with Sir Stuart Alexander Donaldson appointed by Governor Sir William Denison as its first Colonial Secretary.
The Colony of New Zealand was a British colony that existed in New Zealand from 1841 to 1907, created as a Crown colony. The power of the British Government was vested in a governor, but the colony was granted self-government in 1852. The 1852 Constitution was inaugurated after the first parliament was elected in 1853, and the first government of New Zealand was formed in 1856. The Colony of New Zealand had three capitals: Old Russell (1841), Auckland (1841–1865), and Wellington. In 1907, the colony became the Dominion of New Zealand with a more explicit recognition of self-government within the British Empire.
Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of a published written order issued by a monarch, president, or other head of state, generally granting an office, right, monopoly, title, or status to a person or corporation. Letters patent can be used for the creation of corporations or government offices, or for the granting of city status or a coat of arms. Letters patent are issued for the appointment of representatives of the Crown, such as governors and governors-general of Commonwealth realms, as well as appointing a Royal Commission. In the United Kingdom they are also issued for the creation of peers of the realm. A particular form of letters patent has evolved into the modern patent granting exclusive rights in an invention. In this case it is essential that the written grant should be in the form of a public document so other inventors can consult it to avoid infringement and also to understand how to "practice" the invention, i.e., put it into practical use. In the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, imperial patent was also the highest form of generally binding legal regulations, e. g. Patent of Toleration, Serfdom Patent etc.
The governor-general (titled "governor" before 1917) initially represented the British monarch and the British Government. Therefore, many past officeholders were British, including a succession of minor aristocrats from the 1890s onwards. In a gradual process, culminating with the adoption of the Statute of Westminster in 1947, the governor-general has become the independent, personal representative of the New Zealand monarch. In 1972, Sir Denis Blundell became the first New Zealand resident to be appointed to the office.
The Government of the United Kingdom, formally referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is also commonly referred to as simply the UK Government or the British Government.
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom whose modified versions are now domestic law within Australia and Canada; it has been repealed in New Zealand and implicitly in former Dominions that are no longer Commonwealth realms. Passed on 11 December 1931, the act, either immediately or upon ratification, effectively both established the legislative independence of the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire from the United Kingdom and bound them all to seek each other's approval for changes to monarchical titles and the common line of succession. It thus became a statutory embodiment of the principles of equality and common allegiance to the Crown set out in the Balfour Declaration of 1926. As the statute removed nearly all of the British parliament's authority to legislate for the Dominions, it had the effect of making the Dominions largely sovereign nations in their own right. It was a crucial step in the development of the Dominions as separate states.
Sir Edward Denis Blundell, was a New Zealand lawyer, cricketer, diplomat, and the 12th Governor-General of New Zealand from 1972 to 1977.
Governors-general are not appointed for a specific term, but are generally expected to serve for five years. The current Governor-General is Dame Patsy Reddy, who has served since 28 September 2016; Prime Minister John Key recommended her to succeed Sir Jerry Mateparae.Administrative support for the governor-general is provided by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Dame Patricia Lee Reddy is a New Zealand lawyer and businesswoman serving as the 21st and current Governor-General of New Zealand, in office since 2016. She is the third woman to be appointed to the position, after Dame Catherine Tizard and Dame Silvia Cartwright.
Sir John Phillip Key is a New Zealand former politician who served as the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2008 to 2016 and as Leader of the New Zealand National Party from 2006 to 2016. After resigning from both posts in December 2016 and leaving politics, Key was appointed to board of director and chairmanship roles in New Zealand corporations.
Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah Mateparae,, is High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom. Formerly, he was New Zealand's 20th Governor-General, and the 9th Queen's representative in Niue, the second Māori person to hold the office after Sir Paul Reeves. A former New Zealand Army officer, he was Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force between 2006 and 2011 and later served as the Director of the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau from 7 February 2011 until 1 July 2011. His appointment as Governor-General was announced on 8 March 2011 and he took office on 31 August 2011.
The New Zealand monarch appoints the governor-general by commission issued under the Seal of New Zealand.Constitutional convention adopted in 1930, following the Imperial Conference held that year, allowed for the appointment of the governor-general to be made upon the advice of the New Zealand Government, though that right was not exercised directly by a New Zealand prime minister until 1967, with the appointment of the first New Zealand-born Governor-General, Sir Arthur Espie Porritt on the advice of Keith Holyoake. The prime minister's advice has sometimes been the result of a decision by Cabinet; there is no requirement for this, and there have been a few instances where the governor-general was appointed with no consultation of Cabinet. Since 1980, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet prepares a short list of candidates for the office. By convention, the leader of the Opposition is consulted on the appointment, however this has not always been the case. More recently, the introduction of MMP in 1996 and a multi-party system has meant the prime minister primarily consults with each of the party leaders in the House of Representatives.
The Seal of New Zealand is the official seal of New Zealand, used to authorise official instruments of government, such as Royal Warrants, writs and Letters Patent. The seal is defined by the Seal of New Zealand Act 1977. The Seal of New Zealand Proclamation 1977 mandates the design of the seal. The Governor-General of New Zealand has custody of the Seal, for all official instruments of Her Majesty's Government in New Zealand.
The 1930 Imperial Conference was the seventh Imperial Conference bringing together the Prime Ministers of the dominions of the British Empire. It was held in London. The conference was notable for producing the Statute of Westminster, which established legislative equality for the self-governing Dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom, thereby marking the effective legislative independence of these countries, either immediately or upon ratification. Economic relations within the British Empire was also a key topic with proposals for a system of Imperial preference - empire-wide trade barriers against foreign goods. These proposals were further discussed at the British Empire Economic Conference in 1932.
Advice, in constitutional law, is formal, usually binding, instruction given by one constitutional officer of state to another. Especially in parliamentary systems of government, heads of state often act on the basis of advice issued by prime ministers or other government ministers. For example, in constitutional monarchies, the monarch usually appoints Ministers of the Crown on the advice of his or her prime minister.
On only one occasion has the prime minister's choice of appointee aroused public anger or complaint, and that controversy was short-lived.In 1977, Sir Keith Holyoake, a former National Party Prime Minister and a serving Minister of State, was controversially appointed as Governor-General. The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Rowling, complained he had not been consulted by Prime Minister Robert Muldoon on the appointment of Holyoake, and openly suggested that he would have recommended Sir Edmund Hillary instead. (Rowling's remark was in turn criticised by the Government, as Sir Edmund had backed the opposition Labour Party in 1975 as part of the "Citizens for Rowling" campaign. ) It was suggested by many commentators that it would be inappropriate to entrust the office to a former party leader or anyone who is closely allied with a political party; however, despite his background, Holyoake could not be said to have discharged his duties in a partisan way, and he stayed in office for only three years. Since Holyoake's appointment, the prime minister has always confided with the leader of the Opposition during the nomination process, to avoid partisan controversy.
Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake was the 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving for a brief period in 1957 and then from 1960 to 1972, and also the 13th Governor-General of New Zealand, serving from 1977 to 1980. He is the only New Zealand politician to date to have held both positions.
The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.
Sir Wallace Edward Rowling, commonly known as Bill Rowling, was a New Zealand politician who was the 30th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1974 to 1975. He held office as the parliamentary leader of the Labour Party.
Beginning with the appointment of Sir David Beattie in 1980, lawyers and judges have predominated as governors-general.Following the introduction of MMP, it has been determined that an understanding of constitutional law is an important prerequisite for candidacy to the office.
There has been on-and-off speculation that a member of the Royal Family might take up the position. In 2004, National MP Richard Worth, an avowed monarchist, asked the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, whether she had considered nominating the Earl of Wessex to be the next governor-general.
Before the governor-general enters office, his or her commission of appointment is publicly read in the presence of the chief justice and the members of the Executive Council. He or she must take the Oath (or Affirmation) of Allegiance, and the Oath (or Affirmation) for the due execution of the office,which the chief justice or other High Court judge administers.
From time to time, there have been proposals to elect the governor-general. When first drafted by then Governor George Grey, the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 contained a provision for the governor to be elected by New Zealand's Parliament. This provision was removed from the final enactment, probably because the Colonial Office wanted to keep a check on New Zealand's colonial government. In 1887, Sir George Grey, by then also a former Premier, moved the Election of Governor Bill to make the office of governor an elective position. The Bill was narrowly defeated 46–48, being opposed by the government of Harry Atkinson.In 1889, Grey tried again with another bill, which if passed would have allowed for a "British subject" to be elected to the office of governor "precisely as an ordinary parliamentary election in each district."
In 2006, political commentator Colin James suggested that the governor-general could be elected(or, more correctly, nominated to the Queen) by a 60% majority of votes cast in Parliament. James argued that the New Zealand public should be given the ability to choose the Queen's representative and that the current system is undemocratic and not transparent. Such a system is not unique: the governors-general of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are nominated in such a way. Constitutional law specialist Professor Noel Cox, who is a former chair of Monarchy New Zealand, criticised the proposal, claiming that "[g]iving the Governor-General a new and separate source of democratic legitimacy could result in a separation between Ministers and Governors-General. ...the Governors-General would have their own independent popular mandate, and become potential political rivals of the Ministers".
In February 2008, the New Zealand Republic proposed electing the governor-general as an interim step to a republic, arguing "Electing the Governor-General allows for easier transition to a republic because the populace is used to electing someone as a ceremonial de facto head of state."With the introduction of the Governor-General Act 2010, Green MP Keith Locke suggested Parliament recommend the next governor-general's appointment to the Queen, with a recommendation endorsed by three-quarters of parliament. In its submission to the select committee considering the Bill, the Republican Movement suggested parliament appoint the next governor-general with a three-quarters majority plus a majority of party leaders in parliament, with a similar dismissal process and a fixed five-year term. National MP Nikki Kaye queried whether several one-member parties in parliament could veto the decision, which could give them too much power if an appointment was based on one vote per leader. The Republican Movement responded that the method would ensure appointments were made that most MPs and parties found acceptable.
The governor-general holds office "at the monarch's pleasure", under clause II of the Letters Patent.It is the norm that an appointed individual holds office for a minimum of five years but this tenure may also be extended. For instance, Dame Silvia Cartwright would have been in office for five years on 4 April 2006, but her term as Governor-General was extended by four months as Prime Minister Helen Clark deemed that "the selection and appointment process [of a new governor-general] [should] not coincide with the pre-election period".
A vacancy will occur on the resignation, death, incapacity or absence from New Zealand territory of the governor-general. In the absence of a governor-general the chief justice acts as the officer administrating the Government, referred to as "administrator" in everyday usage.
Prior to the granting of responsible government in 1856, the colonial secretary acted as administrator when a governor was absent.
The prime minister may advise the Queen to recall the governor-general. As no New Zealand governor-general has ever been dismissed on the advice of the prime minister, it is unclear how quickly the Queen would act on such advice. Some constitutional lawyers dispute whether the Queen would implement such advice at all, while others argue that the Queen would delay its implementation. Others argue that the Queen would be obliged to follow the prime minister's advice (so long as the prime minister has the confidence of the House of Representatives), and further that the Queen would be bound to implement the prime minister's advice immediately if so advised.
Critics (such as supporters of a New Zealand republic) have described the ability of the prime minister to advise the Queen to recall the governor-general as a flaw in New Zealand's constitutional make up that gives the governor-general and the prime minister the ability to dismiss one another.They argue that this flaw is exacerbated by the reluctance of the monarch or their representatives to become politically involved.
Three New Zealand governors have been recalled from office: William Hobson (who died before he was officially recalled),Robert FitzRoy and Sir George Grey. However, all three governed before the institution of responsible government in New Zealand; they were dismissed by the British Government.
The governor-general's functions can be informally divided into three areas: constitutional, ceremonial and community.
The Constitution Act 1986 provides that "the Governor-General appointed by the Sovereign is the Sovereign's representative in New Zealand".Most of the powers and authority of the New Zealand monarch have been delegated to the governor-general by the Letters Patent 1983. Further constitutional duties are outlined in the Constitution Act. The governor-general is empowered to exercise the Royal Prerogative (royal powers), including the reserve powers, on behalf of the sovereign. However, when she is present in New Zealand the Queen may exercise her powers personally.
|“||Every power conferred on the Governor-General by or under any Act is a royal power which is exercisable by the Governor-General on behalf of the Sovereign, and may accordingly be exercised either by the Sovereign in person or by the governor-general.||”|
|— Section 3 of the Constitution Act|
The governor-general is a nominal chief executive, acting within the constraints of constitutional convention and precedent. Although the governor-general's powers are in theory extensive, they are in practice very limited;most political power is exercised by the New Zealand Parliament (which is composed of the Governor-General-in-Parliament and the House of Representatives), through the prime minister and Cabinet. The governor-general does use a number of remaining powers, but almost always on the formal advice of the prime minister and other ministers. Ministers are, in turn, accountable to the democratically elected House of Representatives, and through it, to the people. (The governor-general may refuse to follow ministerial advice only in the event that the prime minister loses the confidence of the House of Representatives. ) Even in the appointment of a prime minister, the governor-general rarely exercises any discretion; in accordance with unwritten constitutional conventions, the governor-general must appoint the individual most likely to maintain the support of the House of Representatives: this is usually the leader of the largest party among those forming the government.
The governor-general appoints and dismisses Cabinet ministers and other ministers, but exercises such a function only on the prime minister's advice. Thus, in practice, the prime minister, and not the governor-general, exercises complete control over the composition of the Cabinet. The governor-general may, in theory, unilaterally dismiss a prime minister, but convention and precedent bar such an action.
The governor-general presides over, but is not a member of, the Executive Council of New Zealand.The Executive Council (which comprises all ministers) exists and meets to give legal effect to decisions made by the Cabinet. The primary function of the Executive Council is to collectively and formally advise the governor-general to issue Orders in Council (to make, for example, regulations or appointments), which operate under the authority of "the Governor-General in Council".
|“||Every reference in any Act to the Governor-General in Council or any other like expression includes a reference to the Sovereign acting by and with the advice and consent of the Executive Council.||”|
|— Section 3 of the Constitution Act|
The governor-general also has custody of the Seal of New Zealand for all official instruments of "Her Majesty's Government in New Zealand".
The governor-general summons and dissolves the New Zealand Parliament, acting in the absence of the Queen.Each parliamentary session begins with the governor-general's summons. The new parliamentary session is marked by the opening of parliament, during which the governor-general delivers the 'Speech from the Throne' in the Legislative Council Chamber, outlining the Government's legislative agenda. Dissolution ends a parliamentary term (which lasts a maximum of three years), and is followed by a general election for all seats in the House of Representatives. These powers, however, are almost always exercised on the advice of the prime minister, who also determines the date of an election. The governor-general may theoretically refuse a dissolution, but the circumstances under which such an action would be warranted are unclear. It might be justified if a minority government had served only briefly and another party or coalition seemed likely to have better success in holding the confidence of the House.
|“||People tend to think the office of the governor-general is of little significance, which is wrong, or that it represents a substantial check on the excesses of executive government, which is also wrong.||”|
|— Sir Geoffrey Palmer|
Before a bill can become law, the Royal Assent is required. The governor-general acts on the monarch's behalf; in theory, he or she may grant the Royal Assent (making the bill law), or withhold the Royal Assent (vetoing the bill). By modern constitutional convention, however, the Royal Assent is invariably granted, and bills are never disallowed.A law comes into effect from the date the governor-general signs the bill.
|“||The Queen has the power to appoint and dismiss Ministers and other important office holders, summon and dissolve Parliament, assent to Bills passed by the House of Representatives, and agree to regulations and Orders submitted by Ministers through Executive Council. The Queen delegates most of her powers to her representative, the Governor-General. While the Queen and her representative exercise these powers as a matter of law, as a matter of convention, both the Queen and the Governor-General act on the advice of the democratically elected government, in all but the most exceptional circumstances.||”|
|— Former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright|
The governor-general acts with the advice of the prime minister, unless the prime minister has lost the confidence of the House of Representatives.These are the so-called 'reserve powers'. These powers include the ability to:
The exercise of the above powers is a matter of continuing debate. Many constitutional commentators believe that the governor-general (or the sovereign) does not have the power to refuse Royal Assent to legislation — former law professor and Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Professor Matthew Palmer argue that any refusal of Royal Assent would cause a constitutional crisis.However, some constitutional lawyers, such as Professor Philip Joseph, believe the governor-general does retain the power to refuse Royal Assent to bills in exceptional circumstances, such as the abolition of democracy.
As with other Commonwealth realms, the governor-general's exercise of the Royal Prerogative under the reserve powers is non-justiciable;that is, they cannot be challenged by judicial review, unlike the actions of other members of the executive (such as the Prime Minister in Fitzgerald v Muldoon ).
The governor-general also exercises the Royal Prerogative of Mercy, an ancient right of convicted persons to seek a review of their case where they allege an injustice may have occurred. The prerogative of mercy can be exercised where a person claims to have been wrongly convicted or wrongly sentenced.
The governor-general acts on the advice of the minister of justice. The governor-general has power to grant a pardon, to refer a person's case back to the court under section 406 of the Crimes Act 1961, and to reduce a person's sentence. If a person's case is referred back to the court, the court will consider the case in a similar way to hearing an appeal. The court then provides advice to the governor-general as to how to act. In 2000, David Bain was granted such an appeal to the Court of Appeal, which in turn was appealed to the Privy Council.
With most constitutional functions lent to Cabinet, the governor-general is particularly invested in a representative and ceremonial role. The extent and nature of that role has depended on the expectations of the time, the individual in office at the time, the wishes of the incumbent government, and the individual's reputation in the wider community. He or she will host the Queen or her family, as well as foreign royalty and heads of state, and will represent the Queen and country abroad on state visits to other nations.Also as part of international relations, the governor-general issues the credentials of New Zealand ambassadors and consuls, as authorised by the Letters Patent.
Increasingly, the governor-general is personally accorded the same respect and privileges of a head of state. This is particularity true when the governor-general visits other nations or receives heads of states.
Under the Defence Act 1990 the governor-general is also the formal commander-in-chief of the Defence Force.The position technically involves issuing commands for New Zealand troops, though the governor-general normally acts on the advice of responsible ministers. In practice, commander-in-chief is a ceremonial role in which the governor-general will visit military bases in New Zealand and abroad to take part in military ceremonies, see troops off to and return from active duty, and encourage excellence and morale amongst the forces.
The governor-general provides leadership in the community. Governors-general are always the patrons of many charitable, service, sporting and cultural organisations.The sponsorship or patronage of the governor-general signals that an organisation is worthy of wide support. This follows the tradition of royal patronage established by British monarchs; however, the practice of issuing warrants of appointment has been discontinued in New Zealand. Some governors-general and their spouses also founded or supported new charities; in the early 1900s, Lord Plunket and his wife, Lady Victoria, presided over the creation of Truby King's Plunket Society.
Until the later 20th century, many governors-general were grand masters of the Freemasons,and they included visits to lodges as a part of their tours of the country. The governor-general has also had a long association with the Order of St John, traditionally serving as prior in New Zealand.
Many of the governor-general's community functions have a ceremonial dimension, such as attendance at the official openings of buildings, addresses to open conferences, or launching special events and appeals. The governor-general spends a large share of his or her working time attending state banquets and receptions, making and hosting state visits, meeting ceremonial groups, and awarding medals and decorations.As well as attending public events, the governor-general hosts many community functions at Government House. In a typical year, over 15,000 people will attend such events.
Starting from New Year's Day 2009, the governor-general issues a New Year's Message to bring to attention issues New Zealanders might consider as they look to the future.
The New Zealand Government pays for the costs associated with the governor-general. Monarchy New Zealand states "[t]his figure is about one dollar per person per year", about $4.3 million per annum.An analysis by New Zealand Republic of the 2010 budget shows the office of governor-general costs New Zealand taxpayers about $7.6 million in ongoing costs and $11 million for Government House upgrades, a total of $18.6 million. These figures are disputed by Monarchy New Zealand, who claim New Zealand Republic "arbitrarily inflated the cost of the Governor-General".
As of 2016 [update] , the annual salary is NZ$354,000, which is subject to income tax from 2010. Until the end of Sir Anand Satyanand's term, the salary of governor-general was regulated by the Civil List Act 1979. From the start of Sir Jerry Mateperae's term, the Governor-General Act 2010 applies.
The governor-general's main residence is Government House, Wellington, and there is a small secondary northern residence, Government House, Auckland.Government House in Wellington closed in October 2008 for a major $44 million conservation and rebuilding project and was reopened in March 2011. In November 2012, Prince Charles opened a visitor centre at Government House in Wellington to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.
The viceregal household aids the governor-general in the execution of the royal constitutional and ceremonial duties and is managed by an official secretary to the governor-general.All of the governor-general's staff are public servants within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Since the 1960s the New Zealand Government has supplied Government House with an official state car to transport the governor-general when he or she carries out official business. It is also used to transport other state officials, as well as visiting dignitaries, including royalty. The governor-general's official vehicle displays a representation of St Edward's Crown instead of standard number plates.The current official car is a BMW 7 Series. It replaced a Jaguar XJ8, which was purchased in 2003 for about NZ$160,000. The Jaguar was auctioned off in August 2011.
The governor-general's flag may be flown from a vehicle in which the governor-general is travelling, or from a building in which the governor-general is present or is residing. The flag in its present form was adopted in 2008 and is a blue field with the shield of the New Zealand coat of arms surmounted by a crown in the centre.It takes precedence over the national flag. When the governor-general undertakes a state visit abroad, however, the national flag is generally employed to mark his or her presence. The national flag is also flown at half-mast upon the death of an incumbent or former governor-general.
The design of the flag, with the shield and crown in the centre, mirrors the collar badge of the New Zealand Order of Merit which can only be worn by the Queen and the governor-general.
A viceregal salute—composed of the first six bars of "God Save the Queen"—is used to greet the governor-general upon arrival at, and mark his or her departure from most official events.
In the New Zealand order of precedence, the governor-general outranks all individuals except the sovereign.The governor-general and their spouse are styled "His/Her Excellency" during the term in office, and the governor-general is entitled to the style "The Right Honourable" for life upon assuming the office. From 2006, former living Governors-General were entitled to use the style "the Honourable", if they did not already hold the title or the higher appointment of Privy Counsellor.
The incumbent Governor-General uses the titles of Chancellor and Principal Knight or Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Meritand Principal Companion of the Queen's Service Order.
The governor-general is entitled to a special court uniform, consisting of a dark navy wool double-breasted coatee with silver oak leaf and fern embroidery on the collar and cuffs trimmed with silver buttons embossed with the Royal Arms and with bullion edged epaulettes on the shoulders, dark navy trousers with a wide band of silver oak-leaf braid down the outside seam, silver sword belt with ceremonial sword, bicorne cocked hat with plume of ostrich feathers, black patent leather Wellington boots with spurs, etc., that is worn on ceremonial occasions.There is also a tropical version made of white tropical wool cut in a typical military fashion worn with a plumed helmet.
This dress has fallen into disuse since the 1980s. Initially this was due to Sir Paul Reeves, as a cleric, choosing not wearing a military uniform. Although not specifically colonial, the traditional dress was abandoned as overt reminders of a colonial legacy.Usually the governor-general will now wear a black lounge jacket with morning dress trousers for men or formal day dress for ladies (or military uniform if they are already entitled to it) for ceremonial occasions and normal day dress at other times. The undress form of the uniform is still worn on rare occasions, such as when the governor-general visits military bases.
From 1832 James Busby was assigned the post of British Resident in New Zealand.He played a role in drafting the Treaty of Waitangi, which established British colonial rule over New Zealand. Captain William Hobson was first appointed Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand by letters patent on 24 November 1840 (having previously been the British Consul to New Zealand), when New Zealand was part of the colony of New South Wales. While Hobson is usually considered the first Governor of New Zealand, Sir George Gipps was the first governor over New Zealand, albeit only in his capacity as Governor of New South Wales, until New Zealand was established as a separate colony on 3 May 1841. Hobson continued in office until his death on 10 September 1842. In Hobson's place the Colonial Office appointed Captain Robert FitzRoy. FitzRoy struggled to keep order between Māori and settlers keen to buy their land, with very limited financial and military resources at his disposal. Outbreak of the first armed conflicts of the New Zealand Wars and FitzRoy's siding with Māori claims against the New Zealand Company and its settlers over land deals lead to his recall by the Colonial Office in 1845.
FitzRoy's replacement, Sir George Grey, is considered by some historians, such as Michael King,to be the most important and influential Governor of New Zealand. Grey was the last Governor of New Zealand to act without reference to parliament. During his first term (1845–1852), Grey petitioned the British Parliament to largely suspend the complex New Zealand Constitution Act 1846 (Grey briefly took the title "Governor-in-Chief" under the Act but this was eventually reverted to Governor), drafting his own constitution bill, which became the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852. Grey's first term ended before responsible government was implemented.
The task of overseeing the transition to a responsible government was left to the Administrator of the Government, Robert Wynyard, who opened the 1st New Zealand Parliament on 24 May 1854.Wynyard was quickly confronted by the demands from members of parliament for the ability to select ministers from among their number—rather than the governor deciding. The parliament passed a resolution to that effect on 2 June. Wynyard and the Executive Council of New Zealand refused to allow this, stating that the Colonial Office made no mention of responsible government in its dispatches. Wynyard then offered to add some elected members of parliament to the Executive Council, which he did—a compromise that worked for a few weeks, until on 1 August 1854, parliament again demanded complete power to appoint ministers. Wynyard refused and prorogued parliament for two weeks. Then on 31 August, he appointed more elected members to the Executive Council, but when parliament met again on 8 August 1855, it moved a motion of no confidence in the members. Fortunately for Wynyard the next Governor, Sir Thomas Gore Browne, arrived on 6 September 1855. Gore Browne's tenure saw the introduction of responsible government, which constrained the powers of the governor, who now had to work with a Premier and their ministers. In the following years, Gore Browne and Premier Edward Stafford clashed over whether the governor (and hence the imperial government) had control over Māori affairs, a key issue at the time with the ongoing New Zealand Wars. Stafford began the practice of Cabinet meeting independently of the Executive Council, further reducing the influence of the governor. Sir George Grey returned to New Zealand in 1861 for a second term. Grey struggled to meet the competing demands of the Colonial and British governments. The New Zealand Wars had brought many thousands of British troops to New Zealand, and fearing further fighting Grey, with the support of Edward Stafford, evaded Colonial Office instructions to finalise their return to Britain. In the end, the Colonial Office recalled Grey in February 1868.
After Grey, successive governors of New Zealand were derived from the British aristocracy and played a much less active role in government.In only a few instances did the governor refuse the advice of the premier. Ironically this happened mainly during the tenure of Sir George Grey as Premier of New Zealand from 1877 to 1879. One famous instance of the use of the governor's powers came during the term of Sir Arthur Gordon. Sir Arthur had left New Zealand on 13 September 1881 for a visit to the Pacific Islands. In his absence, Premier John Hall advised Chief Justice James Prendergast, acting as the Administrator of the Government (Prendergast was well known for his negative opinions about Māori from his decision in the case Wi Parata v the Bishop of Wellington ), to order the invasion of the Māori pacifist Te Whiti o Rongomai's village at Parihaka, something the Governor had indicated he was opposed to.
In 1907 Sir Joseph Ward's Liberal government passed a resolution to create New Zealand as the Dominion of New Zealand. This led to new letters patent being issued in 1917, which greatly curtailed the powers of the governor.To reflect these changes, the office was renamed governor-general (equivalent to governors-general of other Commonwealth realms), with the Earl of Liverpool, the serving Governor, becoming the first to be titled Governor-General.
In 1926, following the King-Byng affair in Canada, an Imperial Conference approved the Balfour Declaration, which defined a British Commonwealth as a freely associated grouping known as the Commonwealth of Nations.The Declaration was ratified by the British (Imperial) Parliament with the Statute of Westminster in 1931. The effect of the Declaration was to elevate the governor-general from a representative of the British Government to a regal position with all the theoretical constitutional powers of the sovereign. New Zealand did not ratify the Statute of Westminster until after the Second World War however, with the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947 being passed on 25 November 1947.
Despite adopting the statute later than most other Commonwealth realms, the functions of the governor-general in representing the British Government were gradually reduced prior to the statute passing. For example, beginning in 1939, the British High Commissioner to New Zealand replaced the Governor-General as the foremost diplomatic representative of the British Government in New Zealand.
In 1945, New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser suggested that Sir Bernard Freyberg, the British-born commander of New Zealand's armed forces, be appointed Governor-General.Until 1967, the precedent was that governors-general were nominated by the British Foreign Office in consultation with the New Zealand prime minister, who then recommended appointments to the sovereign.
In 1967 the first New Zealand-born Governor-General, Sir Arthur Porritt (later Lord Porritt), was appointed to the office, on the advice of the New Zealand Prime Minister, Sir Keith Holyoake.Porritt's appointment was followed by Sir Denis Blundell in 1972, who was the first fully New Zealand-resident Governor-General.
In 1983, letters patent were issued once again, further reducing the powers of the office.The new letters patent were counter-signed by the New Zealand Prime Minister, symbolising the "patriation" of the office. Following the 1984 constitutional crisis, the 1852 Constitution Act was replaced by the Constitution Act 1986 and the governor-general's powers further limited. For example, section 16 of the 1986 Act significantly narrowed section 56 of the 1852 Act so that the governor-general has much less discretion to refuse Royal Assent to bills of parliament.
With the patriation of the office came an expectation that the officeholders would be representative of New Zealanders generally;since then a more diverse group of governors-general have been appointed. Former Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand Sir Paul Reeves (1985–90) was the first Māori Governor-General. Dame Catherine Tizard (1990–96) was the first woman to be appointed to the office. Sir Anand Satyanand (2006–11) was the first Governor-General of Indian and Pacific Islander origin, and the first Roman Catholic to hold the office.
|“||I would go as far as to say that we are already a de facto republic, as is Australia. We have, to all intents and purposes the nominal Head of State in our Governor-General||”|
|— Prime Minister Helen Clark,March 2002|
Increasingly, the governor-general is regarded as a de facto head of state. Political commentator Colin James has expressed this view,along with historian Gavin McLean and former Prime Minister Helen Clark.
The governor-general has been performing more and more of the functions of a head of state, such as travelling overseas, representing all New Zealanders at major international events and generally promoting New Zealand interests abroad. The first time such a visit occurred was in 1989 for the state funeral of the late Japanese Emperor Hirohito.However, governors-general could not make state visits until 1992, when the King of Spain invited Dame Catherine Tizard on a State Visit for the Seville Expo '92. Buckingham Palace advised that the Queen cannot travel abroad in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand. As a compromise, the Palace agreed that governors-general could accept invitations for state visits, but that it must be made clear that the governor-general is the Sovereign's representative. At the 2007 commemorations of the Battle of Passchendaele, Governor-General Anand Satyanand represented New Zealand on behalf of the Queen, while the Queen herself represented the United Kingdom.
Reform of the office is usually only mentioned in the context of a New Zealand republic. Helen Clark, when defending Dame Silvia Cartwright following a political controversy over prison sentences, stated "[o]ne of the challenges for us is we clearly are no longer a dominion of Britain where the Governor-General is exactly like the Queen. I think we need to consider how the role of Governor-General might evolve further. As you know, my view is that one day there will be a president fulfilling the kind of role the Governor-General does."Others, such as Professor Noel Cox have argued that the governor-general's role needs to be updated, rather than reforming the office.
Some constitutional academics expressed concern that the process of electoral reform could result in the governor-general having greater political influence due to the reserve powers of government formation.In 1993, the then Governor-General Dame Catherine Tizard caused controversy by suggesting that under the proposed mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system, the governor-general may have to use their reserve powers more often. Following the adoption of MMP at a referendum later in 1993, Prime Minister Jim Bolger suggested at the opening of parliament in 1994 that one reason New Zealand might move to a republic was that the governor-general would have more influence under the new electoral system. In a 1996 address, Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys clarified how he would use his powers in the case of an unclear electoral result; he maintained that politicians must decide who would govern, and only after a public announcement of their decision would he appoint a prime minister.
In December 2009 a review of the Civil List Act 1979 by the Law Commission recommended that part 1 of the Act be repealed, and replaced with a new Governor-General Bill to reflect the nature of the modern office of governor-general. The most significant change would be that the governor-general was no longer exempt from paying income tax on their salary. The changes proposed in the report would take effect for the appointment and term of the next Governor-General.The Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on 28 June 2010 and was granted Royal Assent on 22 November 2010.
The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia is the representative of the Australian monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is concurrently the monarch of 15 other Commonwealth realms, and resides in the United Kingdom, she, on the advice of her prime minister, appoints a governor-general to carry out constitutional duties within the Commonwealth of Australia. The governor-general has formal presidency over the Federal Executive Council and is commander-in-chief of the Australian Defence Force. The functions of the governor-general include appointing ministers, judges, and ambassadors; giving royal assent to legislation passed by parliament; issuing writs for election; and bestowing Australian honours.
The Governor of New South Wales is the viceregal representative of the Australian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in the state of New South Wales. In an analogous way to the Governor-General of Australia at the national level, the Governors of the Australian states perform constitutional and ceremonial functions at the state level. The governor is appointed by the queen on the advice of the premier of New South Wales, for an unfixed period of time—known as serving At Her Majesty's pleasure—though five years is the norm. The current governor is retired judge Margaret Beazley, who succeeded David Hurley on 2 May 2019.
The Prime Minister of Australia is the head of government of Australia. The individual who holds the office is the most senior Minister of State, the leader of the Federal Cabinet. The Prime Minister also has the responsibility of administering the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and is the chair of the National Security Committee and the Council of Australian Governments. The office of Prime Minister is not mentioned in the Constitution of Australia but exists through Westminster political convention. The individual who holds the office is commissioned by the Governor-General of Australia and at the Governor-General's pleasure subject to the Constitution of Australia and constitutional conventions.
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the national capital. The body consists of the Canadian monarch, represented by a viceroy, the Governor General; an upper house, the Senate; and a lower house, the House of Commons. Each element has its own officers and organization. By constitutional convention, the House of Commons is dominant, with the Senate and monarch rarely opposing its will. The Senate reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint and the monarch or viceroy provides royal assent to make bills into law.
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The Governor-General was the official representative of the sovereign of the Irish Free State from 1922 to 1936. By convention, the Office of Governor-General was largely ceremonial. Nonetheless, it was controversial, as many Irish Nationalists regarded the existence of the office as offensive to republican principles and a symbol of continued Irish involvement in the United Kingdom, despite the Governor-General having no connection to the British Government after 1931. For this reason, the office's role was diminished over time by the Irish Government.
Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in others that is a separate step. Under a modern constitutional monarchy royal assent is considered to be little more than a formality; even in those nations which still, in theory, permit the monarch to withhold assent to laws, the monarch almost never does so, save in a dire political emergency or upon the advice of their government. While the power to veto a law by withholding royal assent was once exercised often by European monarchs, such an occurrence has been very rare since the eighteenth century.
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A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state in which Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state. Each realm functions as an independent co-equal kingdom from the other realms. As of 2019, there are 16 Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom. All 16 Commonwealth realms are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states. Elizabeth II is Head of the Commonwealth.
The Governor-General of Barbados is the representative of the Barbadian monarch. Under the government's Table of Precedence for Barbados, the Governor-General of Barbados is regarded as being the most important of all personnel of the Barbados government.
The Government of Australia is the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy. It is also commonly referred to as the Australian Government, the Commonwealth Government, Her Majesty's Government, or the Federal Government.
The constitution of New Zealand is the sum of laws and principles that determine the political governance of New Zealand. Unlike many other nations, New Zealand has no single constitutional document. It is an uncodified constitution, consisting of both written and unwritten sources. The phrase "unwritten constitution" is sometimes used, despite the fact that the New Zealand constitution incorporates many written sources. The Constitution Act 1986 has a central role, alongside a collection of other statutes, Orders in Council, letters patent, decisions of the courts, principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and unwritten traditions and conventions. There is no technical difference between ordinary statutes and law considered "constitutional law." Therefore the New Zealand Parliament can perform "constitutional reform" simply by passing Acts of Parliament, and thus has the power to change or abolish any written or unwritten element of the constitution.
The Parliament of Grenada is composed of the monarch and two chambers: Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Cook Islands are a constitutional monarchy within the Realm of New Zealand. Under the Cook Islands Constitution, the Sovereign in Right of New Zealand has been Head of State of the Cook Islands since 4 August 1965. The Sovereign is represented by the Queen's Representative; as such, the Queen is the de jure head of state, holding several powers that are hers alone, while the Queen's Representative is sometimes referred to as the de facto head of state. The viceregal position is currently held by Tom Marsters.
The Government of New Zealand, or New Zealand Government, is the administrative complex through which authority is exercised in New Zealand. As in most parliamentary democracies, the term "Government" refers chiefly to the executive branch, and more specifically to the collective ministry directing the executive. Based on the principle of responsible government, it operates within the framework that "the Queen reigns, but the government rules, so long as it has the support of the House of Representatives".
The monarchy of Jamaica is a constitutional system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Jamaica. The terms Crown in Right of Jamaica, Her Majesty in Right of Jamaica, or The Queen in Right of Jamaica may also be used to refer to the entire executive of the government of Jamaica. Though the Jamaican Crown has its roots in the British Crown, it has evolved to become a distinctly Jamaican institution, represented by its own unique symbols.
The monarch of Belize is the head of state of Belize. The incumbent Queen of Belize is Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 21 September 1981. The heir apparent is Elizabeth's eldest son, Prince Charles, though the Queen is the only member of the royal family with any constitutional role. She and the rest of the royal family undertake various public ceremonial functions across Belize and on behalf of Belize abroad.
Last century most Governors-General were Freemasons, and they included visits to lodges in their tours of the country.
If the first six bars only are used, as for a salute to the governor-general as the Queen's representative, the anthem is to be played "fortissimo" at M.M. 60 crotchets.
Much was made of the fact that I was New Zealand's first Governor-General of Asian descent. But there was almost no comment at all on my being New Zealand's first Governor-General who was also a Catholic.
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