Jerry Mateparae

Jerry Mateparae
His Excellency
Lieutenant General The Right Honourable

Sir Jerry Mateparae
20th Governor-General of New Zealand
Assumed office
31 August 2011
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Anand Satyanand
Personal details
Born 14 November 1954 (1954-11-14) (age 57)[1]
Wanganui, New Zealand
Spouse(s) Janine Grenside
Alma mater Officer Cadet School, Portsea
British Staff College
Australian Joint Service Staff College
Royal College of Defence Studies
University of Waikato
Profession Soldier
Military service
Allegiance New Zealand
Service/branch New Zealand Army
Years of service 1972–2011[2]
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands First Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars Operation Bel Isi
Operation Warden
Awards Knight Grand Companion of the Order of Merit
Queen's Service Order

Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah "Jerry" Mateparae, GNZM, QSO (born 14 November 1954) is New Zealand's 20th Governor-General. He was Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force between 2006 and 2011, the first Māori person to hold the office, and the Director of the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau from 7 February 2011 until 1 July 2011.[3] His appointment as Governor-General was announced on 8 March 2011 and he took office on 31 August 2011.[4]


Personal life

Jerry Mateparae was born to the Andrews family in Wanganui. He was given to his mother's brother, a Mateparae, to raise in the Māori customary adoption known as whāngai.[5] His birth father and his adoptive father were both ministers in the Ratana 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.[1] 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 Raewynne, who died in 1990, and two children with his second wife Janine.[5]


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.[1] He was a platoon commander in Singapore in 1979.[8]

He had two operational postings to peace support missions, one 12-month tour of duty with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation (UNTSO) as the Chief Observer in Southern Lebanon from May 1994 to May 1995, and commanding the combined-force Truce Monitoring Group on Bougainville during Operation Belisi in 1998.[3] On 24 December 1999, he was promoted to brigadier, in the post of Land Component Commander, Joint Forces New Zealand.[8] 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.[3]

In February 2002, Mateparae was promoted to major-general and became the Chief of General Staff.[9] 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.[1]

On 26 August 2010, Prime Minister John Key announced the appointment of Mateparae as Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). 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

Mateparae with 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.[10] The Queen of New Zealand made the appointment later that day.[11] On 31 August 2011 he was sworn in as the Governor-General for a five-year term.[12]

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.[13] He became Chancellor and Principal Knight Grand Commander of that order and Principal Companion of the Queen's Service Order upon taking office as Governor-General,[14] making him "His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jeremiah Mateparae GNZM QSO".[15]

Medals and awards

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.[16] He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.[17]

He was made an Additional Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the January 1999 New Year’s Honours,[18] for his service in Bougainville. In May 2011 the Singapore government awarded him the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) – Distinguished Service Order (Military).[19] In June 2011 he was awarded Knight of Justice of the Order of St John in regards to him become Prior of the Order of St John in New Zealand.[20]

Medals and ribbons
New Zealand Order of Merit ribbon.png New Zealand Order of Merit
QueenServiceRibbon.png Queen's Service Order
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Order of St John
New Zealand Operational Service Medal ribbon.png New Zealand Operational Service Medal
UN Truce Supervision Organisation Medal ribbon.png UNIFIL Medal
NZGSM92NonWarRibbon.png New Zealand General Service Medal 1992 (Non-Warlike)
East Timor Ribbon (NZ).png East Timor Medal
New Zealand Armed Forces Award ribbon.png New Zealand Armed Forces Award with clasp
NavyPres.gif US Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation
Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) ribbon.png Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera)

Dates of rank

Rank Date Role
Private 1972
Second Lieutenant 1976
Major 1985 B Company Commander, 1 RNZIR
Colonel before May 1998
Brigadier 24 December 1999 Land Component Commander
Major General February 2002 Chief of Army
Lieutenant General 1 May 2006 Chief of Defence Force


  1. ^ a b c d "Governor-General Designate". The Governor-General of New Zealand. Government of New Zealand. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Jerry Mateparae: Can't fight? In fact we still punch above our weight". The New Zealand Herald. 8 September 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "NZ gets first Maori defence chief". BBC News. 6 March 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  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 "New army chief". The Press. 3 December 1999. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "Defence appointments announced". New Zealand Government. 10 December 2001. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "Prime Minister Welcomes Jerry Mateparae as next Governor-General". Prime Minister's Office. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  11. ^ "Appointment of New Governor-General of New Zealand". Queen Elizabeth II. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-08. 
  12. ^ Bennett, Adam (31 August 2011). "New governor-general sworn in". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  13. ^ "PM announces appointments for Lt Gen Mateparae". Beehive. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Incoming Governor General knighted". New Zealand Herald. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "Title and greetings". Governor-General Website. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "2008 Awardees". University of Waikato. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  17. ^ "Jerry Mateparae named as new Governor-General". 8 March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "The New Zealand New Year Honours 1999". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1998. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  19. ^ "Govenor General receives military award from Singapore". 30 May 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  20. ^ "Sir Jerry Mateparae to head St John". Order of St John. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Bruce Ferguson
Chief of Defence Force
Succeeded by
Rhys Jones
Government offices
Preceded by
Bruce Ferguson
Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau
Succeeded by
Simon Murdoch
Preceded by
Anand Satyanand
Governor-General of New Zealand

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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