Tuesday, March 22, 2016


The superb job done by Sir Jerry Matapaere as our 20th Governor-General.   He and Lady Janine have carried out their duties with style and grace.   They deserve our thanks.

I first met Jerry back in 1979 when he was posted to 1 RNZIR in Singapore as a newly commissioned Second Lieutenant and we have kept in occasional touch ever since.   He was then and remains today quiet and thoughtful but there is real steel in his backbone.    Jerry commenced his military career as a Private and ended it holding the highest rank in the NZ Defence Force and then went on to higher office ... proof of Napoleon's maxim that there is indeed a Field Marshal's baton in every soldier's knapsack.

He will be remembered by me and I suspect many others as one of our better Governors-General.

I don't know overly much about Dame Patsy Reddy, announced today as Sir Jerry's replacement, but I think the system has it about right with the Prime Minister required to consult with the Leader of the Opposition before the appointment is confirmed.    I do not agree with those who would have it that Parliament should choose the appointee in some sort of beauty contest which could end up stalemated.

One thing I hold to strongly.   While I acknowledge the gene pool of potential Governors-General is limited and that the position is largely ceremonial it should NEVER be offered to anyone who has a demonstrated partisan political background.   I opposed the appointment of Keith Holyoake, Paul Reeves and Cath Tizard on that basis and trust that lesson has been well learned.   No matter the many attributes of say Helen Clark or John Key they should never be considered for appointment to that position anytime in the future.  


Anonymous said...

You might not like this then from Martyn Martin:

Anonymous said...

Well it seems that Dame Patsy Reddy has been named the next Governor-General for services to writing a whitewash review of GCSB & SIS that will allow mass surveillance.

Not exactly an impartial bystander in the scheme of things. As you will have noticed in a small incestuous society like New Zealand those judges who come down in favour of the Government of the day are often rewarded with plum semi retirement jobs like the Waitangi hearings. Those who give the govt. headaches (Kim Dotcom Judge) are not considered and are banished to the maximum security twilight home. The moment Governor generals stopped being appointed by disinterested parties the rot set in. Get rid of the position, it has now lost it's meaning.

Lord Egbut.

Anonymous said...

You pushing for a Republic Nuttbut?
Hell we've just spent millions on a flag change going nowhere.

Anonymous said...

The suggestion that the GG should be elected by 75% majority is ludicrous. Exhibit one - the juvenile behaviour of Labour, NZ First, and the Greens over the flag referendum. Exhibit two - the duplicitous and cynical opposition of the Labour Party to TPPA. Always more interested in displaying their KDS than actually entering into rational and reasoned alternatives. It is guaranteed that if JK nominated Mother Theresa as the next GG, the retards that pass for our Parliamentary opposition parties would oppose her even if, (as in the flag debate), they thought of her first.


The Veteran said...

Gueez Anon 8.58 ... quote Bomber Bradbury and your credibility goes out the window. Read some of his posts and they make Donald Trump appear Sainty. His polling is a tad suspect too. Greens on 29%, Labour on 26% (about right), National on 18%, Winston First on 16% aand Mana on 8% (suprise. suprise).

Egbut ... though you were better than posting a cut and paste from the Bradbury article. As for the denigrating of Michael Cullen and Patsy Reedy for their review of the SIS/GCSB and I guess I can answer that in one word ... Brussels.

Anonymous said...

Veteran, Your position on a GG being appointed in NZ and remaining apolitical is naive to say the least.

Lord Egbut

Eric said...

When Sir Keith Holyoake was appointed I defended the decision on the basis that no other New Zealander was capable of sacking the Prime Minister of the day (Muldoon) should that situation ever arrive.

Sir Paul Reeves seemed an unfortunate choice at the time, but he executed his duties well and dignified the office somewhat better than his critics expected.

Dame Cath Tizard represented the role in keeping with the views of the Prime Minister of the day.

Gerald said...

Bit precious attacking the GG position.
What's the history to date; Ministers of Immigration to immigration consultants, Speakers to Ambassadors, PM's to UN positions and others to numerous Boards and NGO's.

It's been jobs for the boys and girls for some time.

Shelldrake said...

The problem that most opposition politicians and their acolytes have is that they recognize that they do not have the ability, personality, charisma or public acceptability to be selected.

The sad bitter face of Turei yesterday substantiates this. The envy is clear. The vast majority of list MP's (except 3) can't even gather sufficient electoral support to represent a geographic electorate.

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... I expect you to disagree but IMHO our last four Governors-General have been apolitical appointees. I know you might find it difficult to comprehend but some people do actually make a point of refusing to become Party political. Of course they have their open opinions but they also have the ability to take a disinterested view on matters of State.

The GGs powers are largely ceremonial anyway. He/she does appoint the PM based on well established criteria. The notion that a GG could go rogue and do a 'Kerr' by refusing to give the Royal assent to legislation or dismiss a PM makes for an interesting academic discussion but that's where it stops. In NZL Parliament rules supreme.

Whether we continue our present constitutional arrangements or morph into a Republic matters not a great deal to me. What is important is that our Head of State does not enjoy executive power. Parliament, with all its faults, is our font of government.

Shelldrake said...


My feelings exactly. Well put.

Noel said...

"The notion that a GG could go rogue and do a 'Kerr' by refusing to give the Royal assent to legislation or dismiss a PM makes for an interesting academic discussion but that's where it stops."

Stops on the other side of the ditch actually.
Fortunately we don't have two houses of trough feeders.

The Realist said...

Couldn't they find a suitable Maori woman?

The Veteran said...

Realist ... naughty.