The Governor-General is the representative of the Monarch of New Zealand, Queen Elizabeth II. The Governor-General acts as the Monarch's vice-regal representative as dictated by the Constitution of New Zealand, and is viewed by some as the de facto head of state. As the representative of the monarch, the Governor-General performs many of the functions vested in the Crown. This includes summoning and dissolving Parliament, granting or withholding the Royal Assent, and ceremonial roles, such as making state visits and receiving ambassadors. These functions are performed on the advice of the Prime Minister, and the Governor General would only exercise their reserve powers in extraordinary situations, such as if the Prime Minister had lost a vote of confidence. When the office of Governor General is vacant, or the Governor General is incapacitated or absent from New Zealand, the Administrator of the Government exercises the powers of the office. Under the letters patent creating the office of Governor General, the Chief Justice serves as Administrator, or if there is no Chief Justice able to act, the next the senior member of the judiciary (usually a Supreme Court Justice) available will serve as Administrator. Before 1856, the Colonial Secretary (a predecessor office to the Minister of Internal Affairs) served as Administrator.
The official website for the Governor-General of New Zealand provides the recognised list. The list does not include Lieutenant-Governors of the provinces of New Ulster and New Munster that existed between 1848 and 1853.[a] Persons listed in light grey are between Governors and Governors-General.
|Administrator of the Government|
|1||Captain William Hobson RN[e]||24 November 1840||3 May 1841||Victoria||None[f]|
|3 May 1841||10 September 1842|
|Willoughby Shortland[g]||10 September 1842||26 December 1843|
|2||Captain Robert FitzRoy RN||26 December 1843||18 November 1845|
|3||George Grey KCB||18 November 1845||January 1848|
|January 1848||March 1853|
|March 1853||3 January 1854|
|Robert Wynyard||3 January 1854||6 September 1855|
|4||Colonel Thomas Gore Browne CB||6 September 1855||3 October 1861|
|Robert Wynyard||3 October 1861||December 1861|
|Sir George Grey KCB||December 1861||5 February 1868|
|5||Sir George Ferguson Bowen GCMG||5 February 1868||19 March 1873|
|Sir George Arney||19 March 1873||14 June 1873|
|6||The Rt Hon. Sir James Fergusson Bt||14 June 1873||3 December 1874|
|7||The Marquess of Normanby GCB GCMG PC||3 December 1874||21 February 1879|
|James Prendergast||21 February 1879||27 March 1879|
|8||Sir Hercules Robinson GCMG||27 March 1879||9 September 1880|
|James Prendergast||9 September 1880||29 November 1880|
|9||The Hon. Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon GCMG||29 November 1880||24 June 1882|
|James Prendergast||24 June 1882||20 January 1883|
|10||Lieutenant-General Sir William Jervois||20 January 1883||23 March 1889|
|James Prendergast||23 March 1889||2 May 1889|
|11||The Earl of Onslow GCMG||2 May 1889||25 February 1892|
|James Prendergast||25 February 1892||6 June 1892|
|12||The Earl of Glasgow GCMG||6 June 1892||8 February 1897|
|James Prendergast||8 February 1897||9 August 1897|
|13||The Earl of Ranfurly GCMG||9 August 1897||20 June 1904|
|14||The Lord Plunket GCMG KCVO||20 June 1904||8 June 1910|
|Sir Robert Stout||8 June 1910||22 June 1910|
|15||The Lord Islington GCMG GBE DSO PC||22 June 1910||3 December 1912|
|Sir Robert Stout||3 December 1912||19 December 1912|
|16||The Earl of Liverpool||19 December 1912||28 June 1917|
|1||28 June 1917||8 July 1920|
|Sir Robert Stout||8 July 1920||27 September 1920|
|2||The Viscount Jellicoe GCB OM GCVO||27 September 1920||12 December 1924|
|3||General Sir Charles Fergusson Bt GCMG KCB DSO MVO||13 December 1924||8 February 1930|
|Sir Michael Myers||8 February 1930||19 March 1930|
|4||The Lord Bledisloe GCMG KBE PC||19 March 1930||15 March 1935|
|Sir Michael Myers||15 March 1935||12 April 1935|
|5||The Viscount Galway GCMG DSO OBE PC||12 April 1935||3 February 1941|
|Michael Joseph Savage|
|Sir Michael Myers||3 February 1941||22 February 1941|
|6||Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Cyril Newall GCB OM GCMG CBE AM||22 February 1941||19 April 1946|
|Sir Michael Myers||19 April 1946||17 June 1946|
|7||Lieutenant-General The Lord Freyberg VC GCMG KCB KBE DSO||17 June 1946||15 August 1952|
|Sir Humphrey O'Leary||15 August 1952||2 December 1952|
|8||Lieutenant-General The Lord Norrie GCMG GCVO CB DSO MC||2 December 1952||25 July 1957|
|Sir Harold Eric Barrowclough||25 July 1957||5 September 1957|
|9||The Viscount Cobham GCMG TD||5 September 1957||13 September 1962|
|Sir Harold Eric Barrowclough||13 September 1962||9 November 1962|
|10||Brigadier Sir Bernard Fergusson GCMG GCVO DSO OBE||9 November 1962||20 October 1967|
|Sir Richard Wild||20 October 1967||1 December 1967|
|11||Sir Arthur Porritt Bt GCMG GCVO CBE[h]||1 December 1967||7 September 1972|
|Sir Richard Wild||7 September 1972||27 September 1972|
|12||Sir Denis Blundell GCMG GCVO KBE QSO||27 September 1972||5 October 1977|
|Sir Richard Wild||5 October 1977||26 October 1977|
|13||The Rt Hon. Sir Keith Holyoake KG GCMG CH QSO||26 October 1977||25 October 1980|
|Sir Ronald Davison||25 October 1980||6 November 1980|
|14||The Hon. Sir David Beattie GCMG GCVO QSO QC||6 November 1980||22 November 1985|
|15||The Rt Revd. Sir Paul Reeves GCMG GCVO QSO||22 November 1985||20 November 1990|
|16||Dame Catherine Tizard GCMG GCVO DBE QSO||20 November 1990||21 March 1996|
|17||The Rt Hon. Sir Michael Hardie Boys GNZM GCMG QSO||21 March 1996||21 March 2001|
|Dame Sian Elias GNZM PC QC||21 March 2001||4 April 2001|
|18||Dame Silvia Cartwright PCNZM DBE||4 April 2001||4 August 2006|
|Dame Sian Elias GNZM PC QC||4 August 2006||23 August 2006|
|19||Sir Anand Satyanand GNZM QSO||23 August 2006||23 August 2011|
|Dame Sian Elias GNZM PC QC||24 August 2011||31 August 2011|
|20||Lieutenant General The Right Honorable Sir Jerry Mateparae GNZM QSO KStJ||31 August 2011||Incumbent|
- For their respective Lieutenant-Governors see New Ulster Province and New Munster Province.
- New Zealand was a dependency of New South Wales 1840–1841. Hobson was appointed by Lt.-Col. Sir George Gipps, Governor of New South Wales 1837–1846, and Governor-in-Chief of New Zealand 1839–1841
- The office was renamed "Governor-in-Chief" in 1848 under the New Zealand Constitution Act 1846
- The office of Governor was renamed Governor-General by Letters Patent of 28 June 1917
- For an explanation of the honours, see Orders, decorations, and medals of the United Kingdom and New Zealand Royal Honours System.
- New Zealand attained responsible government following the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852
- Shortland served as Administrator by virtue of being Colonial Secretary.
- 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. All Governors-General since Sir Denis Blundell have been New Zealand residents and, with the exception of Sir David Beattie, New Zealand-born, and appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister.
- Beaglehole, Diana (30 October 2012). "Porritt, Arthur Espie". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- "Governor-General of New Zealand: Former Governors-General". gov-gen.govt.nz. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- James, Colin (22 August 2006). "The huge challenge ahead of the Maori Queen's successor". New Zealand Herald.
- McLean, Gavin (October 2006). "The Governors, New Zealand Governors and Governors-General". Otago University Press. ISBN 978-1-877372-25-4.
- "Republic 'inevitable'–Clark". The Evening Post. 4 March 2002.
- "Patriated - the Governor-General". Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Official Website of the Governor-General of New Zealand
- A history of the Governor-General in New Zealand
- Rulers.org: Extensive list of Governors-General of New Zealand
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