Jerry Mateparae

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Lieutenant General The Right Honourable
Sir Jerry Mateparae
Sir Jerry Mateparae February 2015.jpg
20th Governor-General of New Zealand
Assumed office
31 August 2011
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Anand Satyanand
Succeeded by Patsy Reddy (Designate)
Personal details
Born (1954-11-14) 14 November 1954 (age 61)
Whanganui, New Zealand
Spouse(s) Raewyn McGhie (1973–90)
Janine Grenside
Children 5
Alma mater Officer Cadet School, Portsea
Staff College, Camberley
Australian Defence College
Royal College of Defence Studies
University of Waikato
Institute for Strategic Leadership
Military service
Allegiance New Zealand
Service/branch New Zealand Army
Years of service 1972–2011
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands Chief of Defence Force
Chief of Army
Land Command
1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars Operation Bel Isi
Operation Warden

Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah "Jerry" Mateparae, GNZM, QSO, KStJ (born 14 November 1954) was New Zealand's 20th Governor-General, and the 9th Queen's representative in Niue, the second Māori person to hold the office after Sir Paul Reeves.[1] A former New Zealand Army officer, he was Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force between 2006 and 2011 and later served as the Director of the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau from 7 February 2011 until 1 July 2011.[2] His appointment as Governor-General was announced on 8 March 2011 and he took office on 31 August 2011.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Jerry Mateparae was born to the Andrews family in Wanganui. He was given to his mother's brother, a Mateparae, to be raised in the Māori customary adoption known as whāngai.[5] His birth father and his adoptive father were both ministers in the Rātana Church.[6] He is descended from the Ngāti Tūwharetoa[7] and Ngāti Kahungunu tribes and also has links to Tūhoe and tribes in the upper Whanganui.[8] He was raised in the Whanganui suburb of Castlecliff and attended Castlecliff Primary School, Rutherford Intermediate School and Wanganui High School. He has three children with his first wife Raewyn, who died in 1990,[9] and two children with his second wife Janine.[5]


Lt. Gen. Jerry Mateparae as Chief of Defence on 29 May 2009, in Singapore.

Mateparae enlisted as a private in the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army in June 1972. In December 1976, he graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea in Australia. He served in both battalions of the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and in the New Zealand Special Air Service.[8] He was a platoon commander in Singapore in 1979.[10]

He had two operational postings to peace support missions, one 12-month tour of duty with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization as the Chief Observer in Southern Lebanon from May 1994 to May 1995, and commanding the combined-force Peace Monitoring Group on Bougainville during Operation Belisi in 1998.[2] On 24 December 1999, he was promoted to brigadier, in the post of Land Component Commander, Joint Forces New Zealand.[10] From December 1999 to July 2001, he was the Joint Commander for New Zealand forces attached to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor.[2]

In February 2002, Mateparae was promoted to major general and became the Chief of General Staff.[11] The title was changed in mid-2002 to Chief of Army. On 1 May 2006 he was promoted to lieutenant general and took up appointment as the Chief of Defence Force, New Zealand's senior uniformed military appointment, which he held until 24 January 2011.[8]

On 26 August 2010, Prime Minister John Key announced the appointment of Mateparae as Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau. Mateparae was appointed for a five-year term commencing on 7 February 2011 but stepped down from the role on 1 July 2011.

Governor-General of New Zealand[edit]

Jerry Mateperae with Prime Minister John Key at the ceremony at which he was sworn in as Governor-General

On 8 March 2011, Prime Minister John Key announced the recommendation of Mateparae as the next Governor-General of New Zealand.[12] The Queen of New Zealand made the appointment later that day.[13] On 31 August 2011 he was sworn in as the Governor-General for a five-year term.[3][14]

On 20 May 2011, Mateparae was appointed an Additional Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and as an Additional Companion of the Queen's Service Order.[15] He became Chancellor and Principal Knight Grand Companion of that order and Principal Companion of the Queen's Service Order upon taking office as Governor-General,[16] making him "His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jeremiah Mateparae GNZM QSO".[17]

On 14 November 2012 he hosted a party for the 64th birthday of Charles, Prince of Wales who was visiting New Zealand, and for 64 New Zealanders, all of whom shared the same birthday of 14 November. [18]

In April 2013 Sir Jerry travelled to Afghanistan to mark the end of New Zealand Defence Force's deployment there.[19]

In June 2014, he attended the 70th anniversary commemorations of D Day in Normandy with the Queen, other heads of government and world leaders, taking a number of New Zealand veterans with him.

New Year Message[edit]

Mateparae expanded on a tradition started by his predecessor, Sir Anand Satyanand in 2012, releasing the Governor-General's New Year Message on video for the first time.[20]

Medals and awards[edit]

Viceregal styles of
Sir Jerry Mateparae
Flag of the Governor-General of New Zealand.svg
Reference style His Excellency Lieutenant General the Right Honourable
Spoken style Your Excellency
Alternative style Sir

Mateparae has a Master of Arts with First Class Honours degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the University of Waikato, and received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Waikato in 2008.[21] He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.[22]

He was made an Additional Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the January 1999 New Year’s Honours,[23] for his service in Bougainville. In May 2011 the Singapore government awarded him the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) – Distinguished Service Order (Military).[24] In June 2011 he was awarded Knight of Justice of the Order of St John in regards to him becoming Prior of the Order of St John in New Zealand.[25]

New Zealand Order of Merit ribbon.png Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2011)
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (1999)
QueenServiceRibbon.png Companion of the Queen's Service Order (2011)
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Knight of Justice of the Order of St John (2011)
New Zealand Operational Service Medal ribbon.png New Zealand Operational Service Medal
UN Truce Supervision Organisation Medal ribbon.png UNIFIL Medal
NZ GSM 1992 Non-Warlike.svg New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Non-Warlike)
NZ East Timor Medal.svg East Timor Medal
NZ GSM Afghan (Primary) Ribbon.png New Zealand General Service Medal 2002 (Afghanistan)
New Zealand Armed Forces Award ribbon.png New Zealand Armed Forces Award with clasp
New Zealand Defence Service Medal ribbon.svg New Zealand Defence Service Medal
Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) ribbon.png Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera)
Ribbon of the US Navy Presidential Unit Citation.svg US Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation

Dates of rank[edit]

Rank Date Role Insignia
Private 1972
Second Lieutenant 1976
British Army OF-1a.svg
Major 1985 B Company Commander, 1 RNZIR
British Army OF-3.svg
Colonel before May 1998
British Army OF-5.svg
Brigadier 24 December 1999 Land Component Commander
British Army OF-6.svg
Major General February 2002 Chief of Army
British Army OF-7.svg
Lieutenant General 1 May 2006 Chief of Defence Force
British Army OF-8.svg



  1. ^ "Biography of Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae". Government House, Wellington. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "NZ gets first Maori defence chief". BBC News. 6 March 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Commission Appointing Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah Mateparae, GNZM, QSO, to be Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in and over the Realm of New Zealand" (13 September 2011) 140 The New Zealand Gazette 3971
  4. ^ "Ex-Defence head next Governor-General". The New Zealand Herald. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Young, Audrey (12 March 2011). "Man of the people". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Turia delighted at Jerry Mateparae appointment". Maori Party. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Defence Force chief delivers ANZAC address". Māori Television. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c "Biography of Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae". The Governor-General of New Zealand. Government of New Zealand. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Hubbard, Anthony (13 March 2011). "An Officer and a Gentleman". The Sunday Star Times. Fairfax NZ News. 
  10. ^ a b "New army chief". The Press. 3 December 1999. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "Defence appointments announced". New Zealand Government. 10 December 2001. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  12. ^ "Prime Minister Welcomes Jerry Mateparae as next Governor-General". Prime Minister's Office. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  13. ^ "Appointment of New Governor-General of New Zealand". Queen Elizabeth II. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  14. ^ Bennett, Adam (31 August 2011). "New governor-general sworn in". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "PM announces appointments for Lt Gen Mateparae". Beehive. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Incoming Governor General knighted". New Zealand Herald. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Title and greetings". Governor-General Website. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  18. ^ Powell, Selina (21 September 2012). "Buddies invited for Prince Charles' Birthday". Stuff. Retrieved 30 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Dignitaries mark Afghan withdrawal". 3 News NZ. April 4, 2013. 
  20. ^ Governor-General of New Zealand (1 January 2012). "Governor-General's First Video Message for the New Year". Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "2008 Awardees". University of Waikato. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  22. ^ "Jerry Mateparae named as new Governor-General". 8 March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  23. ^ "The New Zealand New Year Honours 1999". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1998. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  24. ^ "Governor General receives military award from Singapore". 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "Sir Jerry Mateparae to head St John". Order of St John. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  26. ^ "Jerry Mateparae: Can't fight? In fact we still punch above our weight". The New Zealand Herald. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Bruce Ferguson
Chief of Defence Force
Succeeded by
Rhys Jones
Preceded by
Maurice Dodson
Chief of Army
Succeeded by
Lou Gardiner
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Bruce Ferguson
Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau
Succeeded by
Simon Murdoch
Preceded by
Sir Anand Satyanand
Governor-General of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Dame Patsy Reddy