Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae will be sworn in as Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of the Realm of New Zealand today (Wednesday 31 August 2011). The ceremony will take place (weather permitting) on the steps of Parliament House from 11.30am. Members of the public are invited to view this special State occasion from the lawn in front of Parliament House.
Sir Jerry Mateparae will be New Zealand’s 20th Governor-General. The Governor-General is the representative of the Sovereign in the Realm of New Zealand, and is appointed by the Queen of New Zealand on the advice of the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
The office of Governor-General is constituted by the “Letters Patent Constituting the Office of Governor-General of New Zealand 1983”. Today's ceremony follows the requirements of the Letters Patent, and has three main parts:
- The Clerk of the Executive Council, Rebecca Kitteridge, will read the Commission appointing Sir Jerry as Governor-General.
- Then the Chief Justice, Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias, will administer the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office to Sir Jerry.
- Finally, in his first act as Governor-General, Sir Jerry will sign a Proclamation declaring that he has assumed office, which will be read by the New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary, Phillip O'Shea.
The ceremony will also include a traditional Māori ceremony of welcome, and a Tri-Service Royal Guard of Honour. An artillery salute of 21 guns will be fired from Point Jerningham. Music will be provided by the New Zealand Army Band, Scots College Pipers, and the combined choirs of Wellington College and Wellington Girls’ College.
To read the Governor-General's speech, click here
To view photographs from the Swearing-In Ceremony, click here
To view photographs from the Wreathlaying Ceremony at the National War Memorial, click here
Further information on the role of the Governor-General is available by clicking here