|Sir Denis Blundell
GCMG GCVO KBE QSO
Denis Blundell in 1933
|12th Governor-General of New Zealand|
27 September 1972 – 5 October 1977
|Preceded by||Sir Arthur Porritt|
|Succeeded by||Sir Keith Holyoake|
29 May 1907|
Wellington, New Zealand
|Died||24 September 1984
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
|Spouse(s)||June Halligan, ONZ QSO GCStJ|
|Allegiance||New Zealand Army|
|Years of service||1939–1944|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Early life and family
Blundell attended Waitaki Boys' High School and Trinity College, Cambridge. There he read Law and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1929. He never practised in the UK however, and returned to New Zealand in 1930, practising as barrister and solicitor in Wellington. He was a partner in the Wellington law firm of Bell Gully from 1936 to 1968. During World War II he was a Lieutenant-Colonel in the 2 NZEF, from 1939 to 1944.
Blundell was President of the Wellington District Law Society in 1951, President of the New Zealand Law Society for six years (1962–1968) and Vice-President of the Law Society of Asia and the Pacific 1966.
He married June Halligan in 1945. They had a son and a daughter.
Blundell was a talented cricketer, and opened the bowling in first-class cricket for Cambridge University, MCC and Wellington. In 1928, in his first first-class match for Cambridge, he took 6 for 25 and 3 for 103 against Leicestershire. He captained Wellington in the 1934-35 Plunket Shield season, taking 6 for 82 and 5 for 48 in the match against Otago. When the MCC toured New Zealand in 1935-36 he was selected in two of the four matches New Zealand played against the tourists, taking six wickets, all of top-order batsmen, at an average of 19.50.
He was President of the New Zealand Cricket Board from 1959 to 1962.
Blundell was appointed in 1972 by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of her Prime Minister Jack Marshall to the office of Governor-General of New Zealand. The Leader of the Opposition, Norman Kirk, did not support the appointment, because of Blundell's friendship with the Prime Minister. At his swearing-in ceremony, the Prime Minister referred to Blundell as "a close personal friend over many years in the law, in the battle of the EEC and in many a battle on the golf-course". Blundell was the first New Zealand-born and resident Governor-General, and his appointment prompted David Lange to say "it sort of made us somehow mortal. A man who was a lawyer and the son of a newspaper publisher could become The Queen in drag."
Blundell was the first Governor-General to appear on the electoral roll, for the 1972 general election, although it is unknown whether he voted (under New Zealand electoral law a citizen is only required to register to vote). In office, Blundell dispensed with the traditional plumed helmet, stating "I'd feel an awful Joe underneath one of those hats." Instead, he wore a plain uniform, and usually only for visits to military bases. His term ended in 1977.
Awards and honours
- "BLUNDELL, Henry Percy Fabian". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
- CricInfo profile
- "Cambridge University v Leicestershire 1928". CricketArchive. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
- Wellington v Otago, 1935-35
- Don Neely & Richard Payne, Men in White: The History of New Zealand International Cricket, 1894–1985, Moa, Auckland, 1986, pp. 136–39.
- Margaret Hayward (1981). Diary of the Kirk Years. AH & AW Reed.
- Gavin McLean (November 2006). The Governors: New Zealand's Governors and Governors-General. Dunedin: Otago University Press. ISBN 1-877372-25-0.
- "Sir Denis Blundell". NZ History Online. 6 June 2007.
- Obituary, Cricketer, November 1984, p. 57.
- The London Gazette: . 3 May 1974.
- The Story of Bell Gully Buddle Weir by Julia Millen (1990, Bell Gully) ISBN 1-86934-026-4
|High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom
Merwyn Norrish (acting)
Sir Arthur Porritt
|Governor-General of New Zealand
Sir Keith Holyoake