The Head of State's constitutional role

Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO
 
Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae

The Sovereign and the House of Representatives together make up the Parliament of New Zealand.  The Governor-General, as the Queen's representative, signs into law bills that have been passed by the House of Representatives (The Royal Assent).  The Governor-General also presides at meetings of the Executive Council where Ministers of the Crown, who are also Council members, present regulations for signature.

By convention, the Governor-General is bound, with rare exception, to act on the advice of Ministers who have the support of the House of Representatives.  It is the duty of Ministers to keep the Governor-General informed about government business.  As well as having the right to be consulted, the Governor-General may also encourage and warn Ministers.

On the advice of Ministers, the Governor-General appoints members of the judiciary, justices of the peace and other key public officials, including the members of independent crown entities, such as the Law Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Authority.   The Governor-General also signs the commissions of officers of the New Zealand Defence Force and the warrants for Royal Commissions of Inquiry and may exercise the Royal prerogative of mercy.

Tours of Government House Wellington for the public, schools and community groups are being offered, starting in the New Visitor Centre.

Find out more.

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