Paul Reeves

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Sir Paul Reeves

Paul Reeves (cropped).jpg
Reeves in 1987
Chancellor of Auckland University of Technology
In office
1 February 2005 13 August 2011
Succeeded byJohn Maasland
15th Governor-General of New Zealand
In office
22 November 1985 20 November 1990
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister David Lange (1985–1989)
Geoffrey Palmer (1989–1990)
Mike Moore (1990)
Preceded bySir David Beattie
Succeeded byDame Catherine Tizard
Personal details
Paul Alfred Reeves

(1932-12-06)6 December 1932
Wellington, New Zealand
Died14 August 2011(2011-08-14) (aged 78)
Auckland, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealand
Spouse(s)Beverley Watkins
ProfessionAnglican Bishop

Sir Paul Alfred Reeves ONZ GCMG GCVO QSO KStJ (6 December 1932 14 August 2011) 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.

Archbishop of New Zealand

The Archbishop of New Zealand is the primate, or head, of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Since Whakahuihui Vercoe stepped down at the end of his two-year term as archbishop in 2006, the church has decided that three bishops shall share the position and style of archbishop, each representing one of the three tikanga, or cultural streams of the church: Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa, the Dioceses in New Zealand and the Diocese of Polynesia.

Auckland University of Technology university at Auckland

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is a university in New Zealand, formed on 1 January 2000 when a former technical college was granted university status. It has five faculties across three campuses in Auckland: City, North, and South campuses, and an additional three specialist locations: AUT Millennium, Warkworth Radio Astronomical Observatory and AUT Centre for Refugee Education.


Origins and education

Reeves was born in Wellington in 1932, the son of D'arcy Reeves by his marriage to Hilda Pirihira, who had moved from Waikawa to Newtown, a working-class suburb of Wellington. Hilda was of Māori descent, of the Te Āti Awa iwi; D'arcy was pakeha and a tram driver; he died in 1950 aged 52.

Wellington Capital city of New Zealand

Wellington is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 418,500 residents. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. Its latitude is 41°17′S, making it the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, and is the world's windiest city by average wind speed.

Waikawa, Marlborough Place in Marlborough, New Zealand

Waikawa is a small settlement to the north east of Picton, Marlborough, New Zealand. Waikawa Bay opens onto Queen Charlotte Sound.

Newtown, New Zealand suburb in Wellington, New Zealand

The suburb of Newtown lies in the southern part of Wellington in New Zealand. It lies east of Vogeltown, between Mount Cook and Berhampore. The main thoroughfares of Newtown are Riddiford St, leading from Mount Cook to Berhampore and Melrose, and Constable St, leading from Newtown to Kilbirnie.

Reeves was educated at Wellington College and at Victoria College, University of New Zealand (now the Victoria University of Wellington), where he graduated BA in 1955 and MA in 1956. He went on to study for ordination as a priest of the Anglican Church of New Zealand at St John's College, Auckland, receiving his Licentiate in Theology in 1958.

University of New Zealand university

The University of New Zealand was New Zealand's sole degree-granting university from 1874 to 1961. It had a federal structure embracing several constituent institutions at various locations around New Zealand. After it was dissolved in 1961 New Zealand had four independent degree-granting universities and two associated agricultural colleges: the University of Otago (Dunedin), University of Canterbury (Christchurch), University of Auckland (Auckland), Victoria University of Wellington (Wellington), Canterbury Agricultural College (Lincoln) and Massey Agricultural College.

Victoria University of Wellington public university in New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington is a university in Wellington, New Zealand. It was established in 1897 by Act of Parliament, and was a constituent college of the University of New Zealand.

A Master of Arts is a person who was admitted to a type of master's degree awarded by universities in many countries, and the degree is also named Master of Arts in colloquial speech. The degree is usually contrasted with the Master of Science. Those admitted to the degree typically study linguistics, history, communication studies, diplomacy, public administration, political science, or other subjects within the scope of the humanities and social sciences; however, different universities have different conventions and may also offer the degree for fields typically considered within the natural sciences and mathematics. The degree can be conferred in respect of completing courses and passing examinations, research, or a combination of the two.

Ministry as deacon and priest

Reeves was ordained deacon in 1958. After serving a brief curacy at Tokoroa, he spent the period 1959–64 in England. From 1959 until 1961 he was an Advanced Student at St Peter's College, Oxford (BA 1961, MA 1965) as well as Assistant Curate at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. He was ordained priest in 1960. [1] He served two further curacies in England, first at Kirkley St Peter (1961–63), then at Lewisham St Mary (1963–64).[ citation needed ]

Curate person who is invested with the care or cure (cura) of souls of a parish

A curate is a person who is invested with the care or cure (cura) of souls of a parish. In this sense, "curate" correctly means a parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term curate is commonly used to describe clergy who are assistants to the parish priest. The duties or office of a curate are called a curacy.

Tokoroa Place in Waikato, New Zealand

Tokoroa is the fifth-largest town in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand and largest settlement in the South Waikato District. Located 30 km southwest of Rotorua, close to the foot of the Mamaku Ranges, it is midway between Taupo and Hamilton on State Highway One.

St Peters College, Oxford college of the University of Oxford

St Peter's College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford and is located in New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, United Kingdom. It occupies the site of two of the university's medieval halls, dating back to at least the 14th century. The modern college was founded by Francis James Chavasse, former Bishop of Liverpool, opened as St Peter's Hall in 1929, and achieved full collegiate status as St Peter's College in 1961. Founded as a men's college, it has been coeducational since 1979.

Returning to New Zealand, Reeves was Vicar of Okato St Paul (1964–66), Lecturer in Church History at St John's College, Auckland (1966–69), and Director of Christian Education for the Anglican Diocese of Auckland (1969–71).

Okato Place in Taranaki, New Zealand

Okato is a small township in rural Taranaki, New Zealand. The population was 561 in the 2013 census, an increase of 30 from 2006. It is situated about 25 minutes drive around the coast from New Plymouth on State Highway 45. Oakura is 12 km to the north-east, and Warea is 9 km to the south-west. The place offers popular rocky surfing spots around coastal beaches.

Anglican Diocese of Auckland

The Diocese of Auckland is one of the thirteen dioceses and hui amorangi of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. The Diocese covers the area stretching from North Cape down to the Waikato River, across the Hauraki Plains and including the Coromandel Peninsula.

Ministry as bishop, archbishop, and primate

In 1971 Reeves was appointed Bishop of Waiapu and consecrated to the episcopate. He was Bishop of Auckland from 1979 to 1985, and additionally as Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand, the leader of New Zealand's Anglicans, from 1980 to 1985. [2]

During this time he also served as chairman of the Environmental Council (1974–76), and he served as president of the National Council of Churches in New Zealand (1984–85). [1]

He was a supporter of Citizens for Rowling (the campaign for the re-election of Labour Prime Minister Bill Rowling). [3]


Reeves knighting Sir Ron Brierley at an investiture ceremony Sir Paul Reeves knights Ron Brierley.jpg
Reeves knighting Sir Ron Brierley at an investiture ceremony


On the advice of Prime Minister David Lange, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Reeves the 15th Governor-General of New Zealand on 22 November 1985. His appointment was met with some scepticism due to his previous political involvement in Citizens for Rowling, opposing the 1981 Springbok Tour, and the fact that he was an Anglican bishop. The Leader of the Opposition, Jim McLay opposed the appointment on these grounds, [4] stating "How can an ordained priest fulfil that [constitutional] role?" However, many Māori groups welcomed the appointment, with Sir James Henare arguing that "It must be a fruit of the Treaty of Waitangi to see a person from our people." [4] He was the first (and up to the present the only) cleric to hold the post. Moreover, as a member of the Puketapu hapū of the Te Atiawa of Taranaki, he was the first governor-general to be of Māori descent.


Reeves welcomes Pope John Paul II to New Zealand. Government House, 23 November 1986 Sir Paul Reeves with Pope John Paul II.jpg
Reeves welcomes Pope John Paul II to New Zealand. Government House, 23 November 1986

During his term, Sir Paul joined the Newtown Residents' Association, and invited members of that association to visit Government House, Wellington. He hosted the first open day at Government House on 7 October 1990, and employed the first public affairs officer, Cindy Beavis, to promote the Governor-General's role. [4]

Reeves remained in office until 20 November 1990. He was succeeded by Dame Catherine Tizard. [4]


During Reeves' tenure, the Fourth Labour Government made radical changes to the New Zealand economy, later known as Rogernomics. In November 1987 Reeves made comments critical of Rogernomics, stating that the reforms were creating "an increasingly stratified society". [4] He was rebuked for these comments by Lange, but later stated in May 1988 "...the spirit of the market steals life from the vulnerable but the spirit of God gives life to all". [4] Reeves later recalled that this marked a "parting of ways" with the Government. [4]

He also recalled "I had a little sense of being left alone and felt that I needed to be taken into the loop more, or be taken seriously." [5] Reeves wrote to the Queen, but did not receive replies directly from the Queen. He said, "I used to write to the Queen and express my opinion about this and that going on it [sic] the country and I wouldn't get a direct reply from her but I would always get a lengthy reply from her private secretary, which I took was expressing her viewpoint." [5]

On a state visit to Vanuatu in 1989, Reeves was invited to kill a pig at a ceremony, creating controversy as he was patron of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. [4]


After his retirement from the viceregal office Reeves became the Anglican Consultative Council Observer at the United Nations in New York (1991–93) and Assistant Bishop of New York (1991–94). From 1994 until 1995 he served briefly as Dean of Te Whare Wānanga o Te Rau Kahikatea (the theological college of Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa, and a constituent member of St John's College, Auckland). He was also Deputy Leader of the Commonwealth Observer group to South Africa, Chair of the Nelson Mandela Trust, and Visiting Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the University of Edinburgh.[ citation needed ]

Reeves went on to chair the Fiji Constitution Review Commission from 1995 until 1997, culminating in Fiji's readmission to the Commonwealth, until its suspension in 2000. On 12 December 2007 it was reported that Reeves was involved with "secret talks" to resolve Fiji's year-long political crisis, following the 2006 Fijian coup d'état. [6]

In 2004 Reeves made a statement in support of New Zealand republic, stating in an interview, "...if renouncing knighthoods was a prerequisite to being a citizen of a republic, I think it would be worth it." [7]

He served as the Chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology, from February 2005 until August 2011. [8]

In July 2011, Reeves announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer, and therefore was retiring from all public responsibilities. [9] He died from cancer on 14 August 2011, aged 78. [10]

Honours and other awards

Reeves was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977), he was appointed a Chaplain of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem in April 1982, [11] Knight Bachelor in the New Zealand Birthday Honours 1985, [12] a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George on 6 November 1985, [13] a Knight of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem in 1986, [14] and a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order on 2 March 1986. [15] In 1990 he became a Companion of the Queen's Service Order. Reeves was also made a Companion of the Order of Fiji.

There was some concern regarding Reeves' using the title Sir, as members of the clergy in the Church of England do not usually receive this title when knighted, and the same rule presumably applied to the Anglican Church in New Zealand. Moreover, clergy are traditionally not dubbed. To avoid placing the Queen in an awkward situation (Governors General would by tradition be knighted by her in person at Buckingham Palace), the Prime Minister of the time, David Lange, made Reeves a Knight Bachelor before meeting her. Consequently, when Reeves went to receive the GCMG from the Queen, he was already Sir Paul.

On Waitangi Day 2007 he was awarded New Zealand's highest honour, being admitted to the Order of New Zealand. [16]

The University of Oxford conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Civil Law in 1985 and his college, St Peter's, appointed him an Honorary Fellow in 1981 and a Trustee in 1994. A Fellowship of St John's College, Auckland followed in 1989. He has received other honorary degrees, including an LLD of Victoria University of Wellington (1989), a DD of the General Theological Seminary, New York (1992), and the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Edinburgh (1994).

Changes to the rules in 2006 allowed him to use the style The Honourable for life. [17]


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  1. 1 2 "Tributes flow for Sir Paul Reeves". Otago Daily Times . 15 August 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  2. Randerson, Richard (31 August 2011). "Obituary: The Rt Revd Sir Paul Reeves". Church Times . Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  3. "The Citizens for Rowling Campaign: An Insider's View". Political Science. 28 (2): 88. December 1976. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Maclean, Gavin (November 2006). The Governors – Governors and Governors-General of New Zealand. Otago University Press. ISBN   1-877372-25-0.
  5. 1 2 Rudman, Brian (4 June 2008). "Let's follow Nepal into the new century". New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  6. Field, Michael (11 December 2007). "Reeves holds secret Fiji talks". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
  7. "Ditch Queen, say former Governors-General". New Zealand Herald. 14 November 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2006.
  8. "New Chancellor announced". Auckland University of Technology. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2019. Sir Paul Reeves who was Chancellor of AUT from February 2005 to August 2011.
  9. "Former Governor-General diagnosed with cancer". ONE News. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  10. Hayden Donnell, NZPA and NZ Herald staff (14 August 2011). "Sir Paul Reeves dies, aged 78". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  11. "No. 48959". The London Gazette . 22 April 1982. p. 5422.
  12. "No. 50155". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 1985. p. 1.
  13. "No. 50315". The London Gazette . 12 November 1985. p. 15781.
  14. "No. 50416". The London Gazette . 30 January 1986. p. 1373.
  15. "No. 50488". The London Gazette . 15 April 1986. p. 5191.
  16. "Special Honours List". New Zealand Gazette . Department of Internal Affairs. 8 February 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  17. "Changes to rules around use of title" (Press release). New Zealand Government. 17 July 2006. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
Norman Alfred Lesser
Bishop of Waiapu
Succeeded by
Ralph Vernon Matthews
Preceded by
Eric Austin Gowing
Bishop of Auckland
Succeeded by
Bruce Carlyle Gilberd
Preceded by
Allen Howard Johnston
Archbishop of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Brian Davis
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir David Beattie
Governor-General of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Dame Catherine Tizard