Back to top anchor

The Office of the Governor-General

The Governor-General is a symbol of New Zealand's unity and leadership, with the holder of the Office fulfilling important constitutional, ceremonial, international, and community roles.

Elizabeth II has been Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand since 6 February 1952.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is New Zealand's Head of State.

The Governor-General is Her Majesty's representative in New Zealand and is appointed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

New Zealand's Head of State is non-partisan and is not involved in the "business" of government, which is the responsibility of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

This arrangement is best described by the saying that "while the Sovereign reigns, the Government rules." New Zealand is a constitutional democracy and neither the Governor-General nor the Queen takes an active or initiating role in the executive functions of Government. By convention the Head of State acts on the advice of Ministers of the Crown, except on rare occasions such as when appointing a Prime Minister after an election.

Last updated: 
Monday, 27 February 2017

Help us improve the Governor-General website

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

6 + 11 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.