Appointment of new Governor-General of New Zealand



The Queen, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, has been pleased to approve the appointment of Lieutenant General Jeremiah Mateparae as the next Governor-General of New Zealand.

General Mateparae will serve in succession to the Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand, who will complete his term of office on 23 August 2011.


Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae, the third son of Rangiwhaiuru Mateparae and Rangitunoa Mateparae (nee Tahau), was born in Wanganui on the 14th of November 1954. He completed his primary and secondary school education in Wanganui at Castlecliff Primary School, Rutherford Intermediate School and Wanganui High School.

Of Maori descent, General Mateparae’s tribal affiliations are to Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Kahungunu. He also has links to Tuhoe and tribes in the upper Whanganui.

His current appointment is Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), which he took up on 7 February 2011. Prior to joining GCSB, he had a 38 year career with the New Zealand Defence Force, which culminated in his appointment as Chief of Defence Force in the rank of Lieutenant General from 1 May 2006 until 24 January 2011. General Mateparae was the first officer of Maori descent to hold the rank and appointment.

He enlisted into the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army in June 1972. After three years service as a soldier, he graduated in 1976 from the Officer Cadet School at Portsea into the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment. He served in both battalions of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and with the New Zealand Special Air Service. He commanded a regionally-based combined force Truce Monitoring Group on the island of Bougainville during OPERATION BELISI in 1998. He also completed a 12-month tour of duty with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation as the Chief Observer in southern Lebanon from May 1994 to May 1995. Subsequently, as the New Zealand Army’s Land Commander he was New Zealand’s Joint Commander for New Zealand forces in East Timor (December 1999 to July 2001). He was Chief of Army from 1 May 2002 until 30 April 2006.

General Mateparae is a graduate of the British Army Staff College at Camberley (1989), the Australian Joint Service Staff College at Canberra (1995) and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London (1999). He has a Master of Arts with First Class Honours from the University of Waikato, and was recognised by the University as one of its distinguished alumni in 2009. He is also a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.

In the 1999 New Year’s Honours List he was made an Additional Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his service in Bougainville.

General Mateparae’s military career has shaped his advocacy of “excellence” and interest in developing leaders, the welfare of veterans and the development of New Zealand’s youth. His current community service includes the Rotary Club of Wellington, the Palmerston North Boys’ High School Board of Trustees and the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem. In the past, he has been a patron for various organisations and groups. Currently he is the patron of the New Zealand Special Air Service Association.

General Mateparae is married to Janine, and they have two daughters and three sons. His interests include keeping fit, diving, reading, sport, and health and wellbeing.

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