Jerry Mateparae

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Sir Jerry Mateparae

Sir Jerry Mateparae February 2015.jpg
27th High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom
Assumed office
24 March 2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Lockwood Smith
20th Governor-General of New Zealand
In office
31 August 2011 31 August 2016
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Anand Satyanand
Succeeded by Patsy Reddy
Personal details
Born (1954-11-14) 14 November 1954 (age 64)
Whanganui, New Zealand
Spouse(s)Raewyn McGhie (1973–1990)
Janine Grenside
Alma mater Officer Cadet School, Portsea
Staff College, Camberley
Australian Defence College
Royal College of Defence Studies
University of Waikato
Institute for Strategic Leadership
Military service
AllegianceNew Zealand
Branch/service New Zealand Army
Years of service1972–2011
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands Chief of Defence Force
Chief of Army
Land Command
1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
New Zealand Special Air Service
Battles/wars Operation Bel Isi
Operation Warden
AwardsKnight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Queen's Service Order

Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah "Jerry" Mateparae, GNZM , QSO , KStJ (born 14 November 1954), 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. [1] 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. [2] His appointment as Governor-General was announced on 8 March 2011 and he took office on 31 August 2011. [3] [4]

Māori people Indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand

The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, and distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced; later, a prominent warrior culture emerged.

Paul Reeves Viceroy, cleric

Sir Paul Alfred Reeves was a clergyman and civil servant, serving as Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand from 1980 to 1985 and 15th Governor-General of New Zealand from 22 November 1985 to 20 November 1990. He later served as the third Chancellor of Auckland University of Technology, from 2005 until his death.

New Zealand Army land component of the New Zealand Defence Force

The New Zealand Army is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted by the New Zealand Army Act 1950. The New Zealand Army traces its history from settler militia raised in 1845.


Personal life

Jerry Mateparae was born to the Andrews family in Wanganui. He was given to his mother's brother, a Mateparae, to be raised in the Māori customary adoption known as whāngai . [5] His birth father and his adoptive father were both ministers in the Rātana Church. [6] He is descended from the Ngāti Tūwharetoa [7] and Ngāti Kahungunu tribes and also has links to Tūhoe and tribes in the upper Whanganui. [8] He was raised in the Whanganui suburb of Castlecliff and attended Castlecliff Primary School, Rutherford Intermediate School and Wanganui High School. He has three children with his first wife Raewyn, who died in 1990, [9] and two children with his second wife Janine. [5]

Rātana religion and a political movement

The Rātana movement is a church and pan-iwi political movement founded by Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana in early 20th-century New Zealand. The Rātana Church has its headquarters at the settlement of Rātana pā near Whanganui.

Ngāti Tūwharetoa Māori iwi (tribe) in Aotearoa New Zealand

Ngāti Tūwharetoa is an iwi descended from Ngātoro-i-rangi, the priest who navigated the Arawa canoe to New Zealand. The Tūwharetoa region extends from Te Awa o te Atua at Matata across the central plateau of the North Island to the lands around Mount Tongariro and Lake Taupo.

Ngāti Kahungunu Māori iwi (tribe) in Aotearoa New Zealand

Ngāti Kahungunu is a Māori iwi (tribe) located along the eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The iwi is traditionally centred in the Hawke's Bay and Wairārapa regions.


Lt. Gen. Jerry Mateparae as Chief of Defence on 29 May 2009, in Singapore. Jerry Mateparae 090529-N-8623G-003.jpg
Lt. Gen. Jerry Mateparae as Chief of Defence on 29 May 2009, in Singapore.

Mateparae enlisted as a private in the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army in June 1972. In December 1976, he graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea in Australia. He served in both battalions of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and in the New Zealand Special Air Service. [8] He was a platoon commander in Singapore in 1979. [10]

A private is a soldier of the lowest military rank.

Officer Cadet School, Portsea

The Officer Cadet School, Portsea was an officer training establishment of the Australian Army. Established at Portsea in Victoria, Australia, in 1951 to provide training to officer cadets prior to commissioning, for many years OCS provided the Australian Regular Army with the bulk of its junior officers. However, following a review of military training establishments in Australia in the mid-1980s, the school was eventually closed in 1985, as the Royal Military College, Duntroon, assumed sole responsibility for training Army officers.

Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment

The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment is the parent administrative regiment of regular and reserve infantry battalions in the New Zealand Army. It is the only regular infantry regiment of the New Zealand Defence Force.

He had two operational postings to peace support missions, one 12-month tour of duty with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization as the Chief Observer in Southern Lebanon from May 1994 to May 1995, and commanding the combined-force Peace Monitoring Group on Bougainville during Operation Belisi in 1998. [2] On 24 December 1999, he was promoted to brigadier, in the post of Land Component Commander, Joint Forces New Zealand. [10] From December 1999 to July 2001, he was the Joint Commander for New Zealand forces attached to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor. [2]

United Nations Truce Supervision Organization organization established by the United Nations

The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) is an organization founded on 29 May 1948 for peacekeeping in the Middle East. Its primary task was providing the military command structure to the peacekeeping forces in the Middle East to enable the peacekeepers to observe and maintain the ceasefire, and as may be necessary in assisting the parties to the Armistice Agreements in the supervision of the application and observance of the terms of those Agreements. The command structure of the UNTSO was maintained to cover the later peacekeeping organisations of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

The Peace Monitoring Group (PMG) on Bougainville in Papua New Guinea was brought about by the civil unrest on the island in 1989. The PNG government requested the Australian and New Zealand governments to provide a monitoring group to oversee the cease fire on the island. This group was made up of both civilian and defence personnel from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Vanuatu. Both sides of the conflict welcomed the group being on Bougainville. This support remained strong throughout the PMG's deployment. The PMG played a role in facilitating the peace process on 30 April 1998 and took over from the New Zealand Truce Monitoring Group which then departed.

Bougainville Island main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea

Bougainville Island is the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville of Papua New Guinea. This region is also known as Bougainville Province or the North Solomons. Its land area is 9,300 km2. The population of the province is 234,280, which includes the adjacent island of Buka and assorted outlying islands including the Carterets. Mount Balbi at 2,700 m is the highest point.

In February 2002, Mateparae was promoted to major general and became the Chief of General Staff. [11] The title was changed in mid-2002 to Chief of Army. On 1 May 2006 he was promoted to lieutenant general and took up appointment as the Chief of Defence Force, New Zealand's senior uniformed military appointment, which he held until 24 January 2011. [8]

Major general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. The disappearance of the "sergeant" in the title explains the apparently confusing phenomenon whereby a lieutenant general outranks a major general while a major outranks a lieutenant.

Chief of Army (New Zealand) general officer position within the New Zealand Army charged with command of the army

Chief of Army (CA) is the effective commander of the New Zealand Army, responsible to the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) for raising, training and sustaining those forces necessary to meet agreed government outputs. The CA acts as principal advisor to the CDF on Army matters, though for operations the Army's combat units fall under the command of the Land Component Commander, Joint Forces New Zealand. The rank associated with the position is major general, and CAs are generally appointed on a three-year term.

Chief of Defence Force (New Zealand) Head of the New Zealand Defence Force

The Chief of Defence Force (CDF) is the appointment held by the professional head of the New Zealand Defence Force. The post has existed under its present name since 1991. From 1963 to 1991 the head of the New Zealand Defence Force was known as the Chief of Defence Staff. All the incumbents have held three-star rank. The current Chief of Defence Force is Air Marshal Kevin Short.

On 26 August 2010, Prime Minister John Key announced the appointment of Mateparae as Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau. Mateparae was appointed for a five-year term commencing on 7 February 2011 but stepped down from the role on 1 July 2011.

John Key 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand

Sir John Phillip Key is a former New Zealand politician who served as the 38th Prime Minister of New Zealand and Leader of the New Zealand National Party. He was elected leader of the party in November 2006 and appointed Prime Minister in November 2008, resigning from both posts in December 2016. After leaving politics, Key was appointed to board of director and chairmanship roles in New Zealand corporations.

Government Communications Security Bureau

The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) is the public-service department of New Zealand charged with promoting New Zealand's national security by collecting and analysing information of an intelligence nature.

Governor-General of New Zealand

Jerry Mateparae with Prime Minister John Key at the ceremony at which he was sworn in as Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and John Key.jpg
Jerry Mateparae with Prime Minister John Key at the ceremony at which he was sworn in as Governor-General

On 8 March 2011, Prime Minister John Key announced the recommendation of Mateparae as the next Governor-General of New Zealand. [12] The Queen of New Zealand made the appointment later that day. [13] On 31 August 2011 he was sworn in as the Governor-General for a five-year term. [3] [14]

On 20 May 2011, Mateparae was appointed an Additional Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and as an Additional Companion of the Queen's Service Order. [15] He became Chancellor and Principal Knight Grand Companion of that order and Principal Companion of the Queen's Service Order upon taking office as Governor-General, [16] making him "His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jeremiah Mateparae GNZM QSO". [17]

On 14 November 2012 he hosted a party for the 64th birthday of Charles, Prince of Wales who was visiting New Zealand, and for 64 New Zealanders, all of whom shared the same birthday of 14 November. [18]

In April 2013 Sir Jerry travelled to Afghanistan to mark the end of New Zealand Defence Force's deployment there. [19]

In June 2014, he attended the 70th anniversary commemorations of D Day in Normandy with the Queen, other heads of government and world leaders, taking a number of New Zealand veterans with him.

New Year Message

Mateparae expanded on a tradition started by his predecessor, Sir Anand Satyanand in 2012, releasing the Governor-General's New Year Message on video for the first time. [20]

High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

On 16 December 2016, it was announced that Mateparae would be New Zealand's next high commissioner to the United Kingdom, replacing Sir Lockwood Smith in early 2017. [21]

Medals and awards

Viceregal styles of
Sir Jerry Mateparae
Flag of the Governor-General of New Zealand.svg
Reference style His Excellency Lieutenant General the Right Honourable
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Mateparae wearing his medals Murray Brennan GNZM investiture (Mateparae cropped).jpg
Mateparae wearing his medals

Mateparae has a Master of Arts with First Class Honours degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the University of Waikato, and received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Waikato in 2008. [22] He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management. [23]

He was made an Additional Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the January 1999 New Year's Honours, [24] for his service in Bougainville. In May 2011 the Singapore government awarded him the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) – Distinguished Service Order (Military). [25] In June 2011 he was awarded Knight of Justice of the Order of St John in regards to him becoming Prior of the Order of St John in New Zealand. [26]

New Zealand Order of Merit ribbon.png Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2011)
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (1999)
QueenServiceRibbon.png Companion of the Queen's Service Order (2011)
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Knight of Justice of the Order of St John (2011)
New Zealand Operational Service Medal ribbon.png New Zealand Operational Service Medal
UN Truce Supervision Organisation Medal ribbon.png UNIFIL Medal
NZ GSM 1992 Non-Warlike.svg New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Non-Warlike)
NZ East Timor Medal.svg East Timor Medal
NZ GSM Afghan (Primary) Ribbon.png New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan)
New Zealand Armed Forces Award ribbon.png New Zealand Armed Forces Award with clasp
New Zealand Defence Service Medal ribbon.svg New Zealand Defence Service Medal
Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) ribbon.png Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera)
United States Navy Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg US Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation

Dates of rank

Second Lieutenant1976
NZ Army OF-1a.svg
Major1985B Company Commander, 1 RNZIR
NZ Army OF-3.svg
Colonel30 September 1996 [27]
NZ Army OF-5.svg
Brigadier24 December 1999Land Component Commander
NZ Army OF-6.svg
Major GeneralFebruary 2002Chief of Army
NZ Army OF-7.svg
Lieutenant General1 May 2006Chief of Defence Force
NZ Army OF-8.svg



The design of the Armorial Bearings alludes to Sir Jerry Mateparae's family, Maori or Iwi heritage, military and vice-regal roles. [29]

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  1. "Biography of Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae". Government House, Wellington. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 "NZ gets first Maori defence chief". BBC News. 6 March 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  3. 1 2 "Commission Appointing Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah Mateparae, GNZM, QSO, to be Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Realm of New Zealand" (13 September 2011) 140 The New Zealand Gazette 3971
  4. "Ex-Defence head next Governor-General". The New Zealand Herald. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  5. 1 2 Young, Audrey (12 March 2011). "Man of the people". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  6. "Turia delighted at Jerry Mateparae appointment". Maori Party. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  7. "Defence Force chief delivers ANZAC address". Māori Television. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  8. 1 2 3 "Biography of Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae". The Governor-General of New Zealand. Government of New Zealand. 8 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 June 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  9. Hubbard, Anthony (13 March 2011). "An Officer and a Gentleman". The Sunday Star Times. Fairfax NZ News.
  10. 1 2 "New army chief". The Press. 3 December 1999. Retrieved 5 August 2009.[ dead link ]
  11. "Defence appointments announced". New Zealand Government. 10 December 2001. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  12. "Prime Minister Welcomes Jerry Mateparae as next Governor-General". . Prime Minister's Office. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
  13. "Appointment of New Governor-General of New Zealand". Queen Elizabeth II. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
  14. Bennett, Adam (31 August 2011). "New governor-general sworn in". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  15. "PM announces appointments for Lt Gen Mateparae". Beehive. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  16. "Incoming Governor General knighted". New Zealand Herald. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
  17. "Title and greetings". Governor-General Website. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  18. Powell, Selina (21 September 2012). "Buddies invited for Prince Charles' Birthday". Stuff. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  19. "Dignitaries mark Afghan withdrawal". 3 News NZ. April 4, 2013.
  20. Governor-General of New Zealand (1 January 2012). "Governor-General's First Video Message for the New Year". . Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  21. "Sir Jerry Mateparae to become next High Commissioner to the UK". 16 December 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  22. "2008 Awardees". University of Waikato. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  23. "Jerry Mateparae named as new Governor-General". 8 March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  24. "The New Zealand New Year Honours 1999". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1998. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  25. "Governor General receives military award from Singapore". 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  26. "Sir Jerry Mateparae to head St John". Order of St John. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  27. "Appointments, Promotions, Extensions, Transfers, Resignations and Retirements of Officers of the New Zealand Army". The New Zealand Gazette. 30 October 1996. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  28. "Jerry Mateparae: Can't fight? In fact we still punch above our weight". The New Zealand Herald. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  29. THE ARMORIAL BEARINGS OF LIEUTENANT-GENERAL THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR JERRY (JEREMIAH) MATEPARAE, G.N.Z.M., Q.S.O., K.St.J., Governor-General of New Zealand, 31 August 2011 – 31 August 2016
Military offices
Preceded by
Bruce Ferguson
Chief of Defence Force
Succeeded by
Rhys Jones
Preceded by
Maurice Dodson
Chief of Army
Succeeded by
Lou Gardiner
Government offices
Preceded by
Bruce Ferguson
Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau
Succeeded by
Simon Murdoch
Preceded by
Anand Satyanand
Governor-General of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Patsy Reddy
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Lockwood Smith
High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom