Events In History
4 April 2001Silvia Cartwright becomes governor-general
The swearing in of Dame Silvia Cartwright as governor-general meant that all five of the country's most powerful political and legal positions were held by women. Read more...
Page 1 – Empire Day
Now almost forgotten, Empire Day was marked with parades, flag salutes and stirring speeches. Established in 1903, the day commemorated the long reign of Queen Victoria.
- Page 1 - Empire DayEmpire Day (24 May), was celebrated widely in New Zealand from 1903 and was a major event in the Vice-regal
Page 1 – Tips for new Governors-General
Until the late 1960s New Zealand's Governors-General were British, mainly minor aristocrats or admirals or generals.
Page 2 – Jobs for the boys
As the new boy would have known, it was a so-called job for the boys, a political gift. Lords Bledisloe (1930–35), Galway (1935–41) and Sir Bernard Freyberg (1946
Page 3 – Staff and servants
Lord Bledisloe (1930–35) felt that senior staff 'should be fond of dancing and of games and sport of all kinds, as these accomplishments appeal to people here I
Page 4 – Hail and farewell
The new Governor-General had to make a good impression. That meant landing in the capital.
Page 5 – A home away from 'Home'
Government House in Wellington is a busy place. Every year it hosts about 15,000 guests at 200 functions.
Page 6 – Pay and perks and handy hints
The colonial government cut the vice-regal salary and allowances from £7500 to £5000 in the late 1880s, just when the declining British aristocracy was looking to the
Page 7 – The Governor-General on the move
How the Governors-General moved about the country.
Page 8 – From lieutenant-governor to Governor-General
An outgoing Governor-General's 'Notes for My Successor' have had their day. New Zealand Governors-General already know the country and have no need to pack their household
Page 1 – History of the Governor-General
New Zealand has had a governor or (from 1917) a Governor-General since 1840. The work of these men and women has reflected the constitutional and political history of New
Page 2 – Modern duties
The Governor-General's duties are divided into three functions: ceremonial, community and constitutional.
Page 3 – Crown colony era
New Zealand became a British colony in 1840, legitimised by the Treaty of Waitangi and Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson's declaration of 21 May declaring sovereignty over the
Page 4 – Responsible government
In the 1840s settlers were demanding a say in government. Governor Grey suspended an overly elaborate constitution in 1846, but the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 gave male
Page 5 – Splendid ornamentals
With the appointment of Lord Onslow in 1889, a new type of governor took up residence at Government House.
Page 6 – Regalised
The constitutional arrangements of the British Empire changed greatly between the creation of the Imperial War Cabinet in 1917 and the passing of the Statute of Westminster in
Page 7 – Patriated
Late last century New Zealand governments patriated (indigenised) the Governor-Generalship.
Page 8 – Uber diplomat?
From 1926, in accordance with decisions taken as a consequence of the Balfour Declaration, Governors-General merely represented the sovereign in New Zealand.
Page 1 – Viceregal visiting
'To be invisible is to be forgotten,' constitutional theorist Walter Bagehot (1826–77) warned. For the King or Queen's New Zealand representative, the Governor-General,
Page 2 – Putting on appearances
New Zealanders still loved a good viceregal do, and no one was observed more closely than Their Excellencies.
Page 3 – Organising a small-town do
Empire may have shrunk in the 1950s, but no one wanted to be bypassed.
Page 4 – Some say yes; some say no
Like his predecessors, Sir Denis Blundell (1972–7) travelled widely throughout New Zealand.
Page 5 – Recent changes
By the 1970s, the nature of visiting had changed. New Zealanders, not Britons, now held the job, so they did not need to be introduced.
Page 1 – Governors and governors-general
New Zealand has had 16 resident governors and 20 Governors-General. Two early governors were called governor-in-chief.
Page 2 – Selection process
In the days of the Empire, the British government appointed New Zealand's governors and Governors-General. New Zealand had no say.
Page 3 – Career paths
As the job evolved over time, so did the type of person needed to govern successfully. Between 1840 and 1853, when governors ruled personally, they were junior navy or army
Page 4 – Genes, gender and age
From 1840 until 1972 New Zealand's governors and Governors-General were British.
Page 3 – Parliament
Today there are two parts to Parliament – the House of Representatives (or the Lower House) and the Governor-General, but between 1854 and 1951 there was a third part,
- Page 3 - ParliamentToday there are two parts to Parliament – the House of Representatives (or the Lower House) and the Governor-General, but between 1854 and 1951 there was a third part, the
Page 2 – The Queen’s constitutional and public ceremonial roles
The Queen is New Zealand’s head of state. Her title was confirmed by Royal Titles Acts of 1953 and 1974, the latter entitling her ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God
- Page 2 - The Queen’s constitutional and public ceremonial rolesThe Queen is New Zealand’s head of state. Her title was confirmed by Royal Titles Acts of 1953 and 1974, the latter entitling her ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God
Freyberg, Bernard Cyril
A First World War hero and commander of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Bernard Freyberg proved to be a charismatic and popular military leader who would later serve a term as Governor-GeneralRead more...
Holyoake, Keith Jacka
‘Kiwi Keith’ Holyoake, the first officially designated deputy PM (1954) was our third-longest serving leader.Although criticised for sending troops to the Vietnam War, he is now seen as ‘the most dovish of the hawks’, doing the bare minimum to keep America happy.Read more...
Reeves, Paul Alfred
Sir Paul Reeves was Archbishop of New Zealand and in 1985 became this country's first Māori governor-general.Read more...
- auckland university
- auckland city
- historic places
- queen elizabeth
- catherine tizard
- paul reeves
- silvia cartwright
- cyril newall
- domestic staff
- charles bledisloe
- bernard freyberg
- keith holyoake
- lord ranfurly
- denis blundell
- west coast
- national identity
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- george grey
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- centennial exhibition
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- william hobson
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- george gipps
- charles norrie
- bernard fergusson
- lord liverpool
- lord cobham
- gay rights
- law reform
- great depression
- lower hutt
- charles fergusson
- walter nash
- david beattie
- women in politics
- jim bolger
- eleanor roosevelt
- empire day
- public holidays
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