by Keith Locke
From my experience Jerry Mateparae is a decent fair-minded chap. It is hard to judge how he will go as the new Governor-General because I have heard him speak only in his recent role as Chief of Defence Force. He’s tended to steer away from anything particularly controversial.
I’m not sure his official speeches are going to spark the same excitement in the community as some of his predecessors. Sir Paul Reeves or Dame Sylvia Cartwright come to mind.
It’s a pity that we still have a party-political recommendation to the Queen regarding who should be the new G-G. The government of the day decides, without any formal process of consultation with other parliamentary parties. The Green Party was not consulted over the appointment of either Sir Anand Satyanand or his successor.
Parliament missed a golden opportunity to make the appointment process more democratic when the Governor-General Bill went through Parliament last year. Prior to the Committee Stages of the Bill I proposed the inclusion of an amendment that the nominee be approved by 75% of Parliament. It shouldn’t be hard for informal consultations to come up with a nomination that would be broadly acceptable, and be assured of a 75% parliamentary majority.