List of governors-general of New Zealand

Last updated

Dame Patsy Reddy, the current Governor-General Patsy Reddy 2016.jpg
Dame Patsy Reddy, the current Governor-General

The following is a list of the governors and governors-general of New Zealand. [1] As the personal representative of the New Zealand monarch, the governor-general performs many of the functions vested in the Crown, such as summoning and dissolving parliament, granting or withholding the Royal Assent, making state visits and receiving ambassadors. These functions are performed on the advice of the head of government, the prime minister.


Since the office was established in 1841, 37 individuals have served as governor, governor-in-chief (1848–1853), or governor-general (since 1917). The list does not include lieutenant-governors of the provinces of New Ulster and New Munster that existed between 1848 and 1853. [lower-alpha 1] The table also does not include administrators of the government, who fulfil vice-regal duties between the terms of governors-general, or at other times when the governor-general is overseas or otherwise unable to carry out the role. The role of administrator is normally undertaken by the chief justice.


No.NamePortraitTerm of officeLength of term Monarch Premier/Prime Minister
As lieutenant-governor
1 William Hobson WilliamHobsonGovNZ.jpg 30 January 18403 May 18411 year, 93 days Victoria None [lower-alpha 2]
As governor
1 William Hobson WilliamHobsonGovNZ.jpg 3 May 184110 September 18421 year, 130 days Victoria None [lower-alpha 2]
2 Robert FitzRoy Robert Fitzroy.jpg 26 December 184317 November 18451 year, 326 days
3 Sir George Grey GeorgeEdwardGrey02.jpg 18 November 184531 December 1853 [lower-alpha 3] 8 years, 43 days
4 Thomas Gore Browne Thomas Gore Browne.jpg 6 September 18552 October 18616 years, 26 days
Henry Sewell
William Fox
Edward Stafford
William Fox
(3) Sir George Grey GeorgeEdwardGrey02.jpg 4 December 18615 February 18686 years, 63 days
Alfred Domett
Frederick Whitaker
Frederick Weld
Edward Stafford
5 Sir George Ferguson Bowen George Bowen b.jpg 5 February 186819 March 18735 years, 42 days
William Fox
Edward Stafford
George Waterhouse
William Fox
6 Sir James Fergusson Sir James Fergusson, 1891.jpg 14 June 18733 December 18741 year, 172 days Julius Vogel
7 George Phipps, Marquess of Normanby GeorgePhipps2ndMarquessOfNormanby.jpg 9 January 187521 February 18794 years, 43 days
Daniel Pollen
Julius Vogel
Harry Atkinson
George Grey
8 Sir Hercules Robinson LordRosmead.jpg 17 April 18798 September 18801 year, 144 days
John Hall
9 Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon.jpg 29 November 188023 June 18821 year, 206 days
Frederick Whitaker
10 Sir William Jervois William Jervois.jpg 20 January 188322 March 18896 years, 61 days
Harry Atkinson
Robert Stout
Harry Atkinson
Robert Stout
Harry Atkinson
11 William Onslow, Earl of Onslow 4thEarlOfOnslow.jpg 2 May 188924 February 18922 years, 298 days
John Ballance
12 David Boyle, Earl of Glasgow 7thEarlOfGlasgow.jpg 7 June 18926 February 18974 years, 244 days
13 Uchter Knox, Earl of Ranfurly 5thEarlOfRanfurly.jpg 10 August 189719 June 19046 years, 314 days Richard Seddon
Edward VII
14 William Plunket, Lord Plunket 5thLordPlunket.jpg 20 June 19048 June 19105 years, 353 days
William Hall-Jones
Joseph Ward
15 John Dickson-Poynder, Lord Islington Lord Islington.JPG 22 June 19102 December 19122 years, 163 days George V
Thomas Mackenzie
16 Arthur Foljambe, Earl of Liverpool 2ndEarlOfLiverpool.jpg 19 December 191227 June 19174 years, 190 days William Massey
As governor-general
1 Arthur Foljambe, Earl of Liverpool 2ndEarlOfLiverpool.jpg 28 June 19177 July 19203 years, 9 days George V William Massey
2 John Jellicoe, Viscount Jellicoe John Jellicoe, Admiral of the Fleet.jpg 27 September 192026 November 19244 years, 60 days
3 Sir Charles Fergusson Sir Charles Fergusson, ca 1926.jpg 13 December 19248 February 19305 years, 57 days
Francis Bell
Gordon Coates
Joseph Ward
4 Charles Bathurst, Lord Bledisloe Charles Bathurst.jpg 19 March 193015 March 19354 years, 361 days
George Forbes
5 George Monckton-Arundell, Viscount Galway George Monckton-Arundell.jpg 12 April 19353 February 19415 years, 297 days
Michael Joseph Savage
Edward VIII
6 Sir Cyril Newall Air Chief Marshal Sir Cyril Newall (close-up).jpg 22 February 194119 April 19465 years, 56 days George VI Peter Fraser
7 Bernard Freyberg, Lord Freyberg General Freyberg.jpg 17 June 194615 August 19526 years, 59 days
8 Sir Willoughby Norrie Willoughby Norrie 1953 (cropped).jpg 2 December 195225 July 19574 years, 235 days Elizabeth II Sidney Holland
9 Charles Lyttelton, Viscount Cobham Charles Lyttelton, 10th Viscount Cobham.jpg 5 September 195713 September 19625 years, 8 days
Keith Holyoake
Walter Nash
10 Sir Bernard Fergusson Sir Bernard Fergusson - Governor General, 1963 (21764934845).jpg 9 November 196220 October 19674 years, 345 days Keith Holyoake
11 Sir Arthur Porritt [lower-alpha 4] Arthur Porritt governor-general.jpg 1 December 19676 September 19724 years, 280 days
Jack Marshall
12 Sir Denis Blundell Sir Denis Blundell.jpg 27 September 19725 October 19775 years, 8 days
Norman Kirk
Bill Rowling
13 Sir Keith Holyoake Sir Keith Holyoake circa 1980.jpg 26 October 197723 October 19802 years, 363 days Robert Muldoon
14 Sir David Beattie Sir David Beattie.jpg 6 November 198010 November 19855 years, 4 days
David Lange
15 Sir Paul Reeves Paul Reeves (cropped).jpg 20 November 198520 November 19905 years, 0 days
Geoffrey Palmer
Mike Moore
16 Dame Catherine Tizard Governor-General Catherine Tizard.jpg 12 December 19903 March 19965 years, 104 days Jim Bolger
17 Sir Michael Hardie Boys Sir Michael Hardie Boys.jpg 21 March 199621 March 20015 years, 0 days
Jenny Shipley
18 Dame Silvia Cartwright Governor-General Silvia Cartwright.jpg 4 April 20014 August 20065 years, 122 days Helen Clark
19 Sir Anand Satyanand Anand Satyanand official photo (cropped).jpg 23 August 200623 August 20115 years, 0 days
20 Sir Jerry Mateparae Jerry Mateparae official photo (cropped).jpg 31 August 201131 August 20165 years, 0 days John Key
21 Dame Patsy Reddy Patsy Reddy official portrait (cropped).jpg 28 September 2016Incumbent3 years, 297 days
Bill English
Jacinda Ardern


  1. For their respective lieutenant-governors, see New Ulster Province and New Munster Province.
  2. 1 2 New Zealand attained responsible government following the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852
  3. Between 1 January 1848 and 7 March 1853, the vice-regal representative held the office of governor-in-chief
  4. Sir Arthur Porritt was the first New Zealand-born governor general, although he had been living in Britain for 31 years at the time of his appointment. [2] All governors-general since Sir Denis Blundell have been New Zealand residents and, [3] with the exception of Sir David Beattie, New Zealand-born, and appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister.

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