Lt-Gen Jerry Mateparae will be New Zealand's next Governor General. The announcement was made at midday today by John Key, on behalf of Buckingham Palace. The Herald reports:
Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae says he has an "unshakeable belief in New Zealanders" and believes he can use his new role as Governor-General to contribute to the country.
Prime Minister John Key today announced that the former head of the Defence Force would replace Sir Anand Satyanand when his term ends in August.
Lt Gen Mateparae's appointment has been approved by the Queen and he will be sworn in on August 17, beginning a five-year term as New Zealand's 20th Governor-General.
Lt Gen Mateparae told reporters he was honoured to be asked to accept the role.
"When the Prime Minster asked me to meet with him a few weeks ago, I thought he wanted to discuss with me my arrival at the GCSB. You cannot imagine my surprise when he asked me to be the next Governor-General.
"I did need a few days to think it over and discuss it with [his wife] Janine."
Lt Gen Mateparae said the more he thought about the role, the more he thought he could contribute, especially "the notion of service for others, the drive for excellence and harnessing the strength in young New Zealanders".
"I have an unshakeable belief in New Zealanders."
We reckon that this is an outstanding appointment. That he is a native of Wanganui does not embellish our view of him one iota.
We had the privilege of meeting Lt-Gen Mateparae a few years ago when a family member graduated at Waiouru. His mana and bearing were obvious in his official duties, but in talking to him he was warm and engaging on a personal level. He left a very large impression on us.
We believe that Jerry Mateparae will prove to be an outstanding servant of the Queen in the role of Governor General. His service as Chief of the Defence Forces has been distinguished, having worked his way up from joining the army as a regular force cadet in 1972. We wish him every success. In the immortal words of the iconic Maori Battalion's marching song
Ake! Ake! Kia kaha e!