Back to top anchor

Sir Arthur Espie Porritt, Bt., GCMG, GCVO, CBE

Term (in Years): 
1967 to 1972
Governor-General of New Zealand

Sir Arthur was the first New Zealand-born Governor-General. He was born in Wanganui in 1900 and was educated at Wanganui Collegiate, before moving to Otago University and Magadalen College, Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

He followed his father into medicine, qualifying at St Mary's Hospital, London.

A noted athlete, he was the New Zealand Olympic Team's captain in Paris in 1924 (winning bronze in the 100 metres) and Amsterdam in 1928.

He later managed the New Zealand team at the Empire Games in London 1934, and the Olympics in Berlin in 1936. He was a member of the International Olympic Committee from 1936 to 1967.

In the Second World War, he saw active service with the Royal Army Medical Corps. A distinguished surgeon, he was President of the Royal College of Surgeons (1960-63) and President of the Royal Society of Medicine (1966-67). He was Surgeon to King George VI and Sergeant-Surgeon to Queen Elizabeth II. He was created Baronet in 1963 and Life Peer (Baron Porritt of Wanganui and Hampstead) following his governorship of New Zealand.

He died in 1994.

Visit the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography for more information

Help us improve the Governor-General website

Your feedback is very important in helping us improve the Governor-General website.

4 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.