New G-G welcome, but selection process questionable

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.

9 Comments Posted

  1. Not to sign the F&S act, or anything else, would go against all constitutional convention and probably lead to the G-G being immediately replaced.

    There hasn’t been a refusal of assent in the UK since 1708 (and there has never been one in a Commonwealth state in the post-Statute of Westminster era).

    It’s a myth that a G-G has such power (although a minority government might have the power to direct a G-G to refuse assent to a members bill passed against their wishes, but that’s another story).

  2. Iz-iz guy even a Kiwi????
    Looks Black to Me!
    Well your Govt., keeps on insisting Citizens define their Race
    Wholly Objectionable
    So who can blame poor ol’ Paul?

  3. I don’t really give a toss who gets the job of quaint old Imperial anachronism/official after dinner speaker, but I would like to know if Jerry is a relative of the late Sam Mateparae, also from Whanganui, who was in The Rocking Rockers and the Quin-Tikis?

    I asked at Kiwiblog, but nobody seems to know – could you ask him, Keith?

  4. I’m not one to judge but it would appear to me that Mateparae is first and foremost a soldier and as such is capable of undertaking orders. Perhaps this is why he is National’s choice.

    It would also seem that there could be a conflict of interest being that he is currently the Director of the Governments Communications Security Bureau. This large organization, has recently been found to have regularly shared extensive amounts of information with the US National Security Agency (NSA). The way the term “terrorists” is thrown around these days, makes me very suspicious of such activity.

    It will be interesting to see if Mateparae will sign off on the foreshore and seabed legislation mark 2 being that he will be going against the will of his own people in doing so. I can just picture Shonkey in some sort of uniform ordering him to do so. Truly such assumptions would be alleviated with a more democratic process.

  5. Wow – half a year before he takes up his post and Keith is already criticising the speeches has hasn’t made yet (or even written).

    What’s next – weather and earthquake predictions?

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