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Jerry Mateparae
Jerry Mateparae official photo.jpg
20th Governor-General of New Zealand
In office
31 August 2011 – 31 August 2016
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Sir Anand Satyanand
Succeeded by Dame Patsy Reddy
27th High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom
In office
24 March 2017 – April 2020
Prime Minister Bill English
Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Lockwood Smith
Succeeded by Bede Corry
Personal details
Born (1954-11-14) 14 November 1954 (age 69)
Whanganui, New Zealand
Raewynne McGhie
(m. 1973; died 1990)

Janine Grenside
Children 5
Alma mater Officer Cadet School, Portsea
Staff College, Camberley
Australian Defence College
Royal College of Defence Studies
University of Waikato
Military service
Allegiance New Zealand
Branch/service 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
New Zealand Special Air Service
Battles/wars Operation Bel Isi
Operation Warden

Lieutenant General Sir Jeremiah Mateparae GNZM QSO KStJ (born 14 November 1954) is a former New Zealand soldier who served as the 20th governor-general of New Zealand between 2011 and 2016, the second Māori person to hold the office, after Sir Paul Reeves. A former officer in the New Zealand Army, he was the chief of the Defence Force from 2006 to 2011, and then served as the director of the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau for five months in 2011. Following his term as governor-general, Mateparae was the high commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom between 2017 and 2020.

Early life

Mateparae was born on 14 November 1954 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. His birth father and his adoptive father were both ministers in the Rātana Church. He is descended from the Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Ngāti Kahungunu tribes and also has links to Tūhoe and tribes in the upper Whanganui. He was raised in the Whanganui suburb of Castlecliff and attended Castlecliff Primary School, Rutherford Intermediate School and Wanganui High School.

Military career

Jerry Mateparae 090529-N-8623G-003
Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae as Chief of Defence Force 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. He was a platoon commander in Singapore in 1979.

Mateparae 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. On 24 December 1999, he was promoted to brigadier, in the post of Land Component Commander, Joint Forces New Zealand. 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.

In February 2002, Mateparae was promoted to major general and became the Chief of General Staff. 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.

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

Sir Jerry Mateparae and John Key
Jerry Mateparae 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. The Queen of New Zealand made the appointment later that day. On 31 August 2011 he was sworn in as the governor-general for a five-year term.

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. He became Chancellor and Principal Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and Principal Companion of the Queen's Service Order upon taking office as governor-general, making him "His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jeremiah Mateparae GNZM QSO".

During the 2019 Operation Burnham inquiry Mateparae admitted to providing inaccurate information to Parliament.

On 14 November 2012 Mateparae 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.

In April 2013 Mateparae travelled to Afghanistan to mark the end of New Zealand Defence Force's deployment there. In June 2014, he attended the 70th anniversary commemorations of D Day in Normandy with Queen Elizabeth II, other heads of government and world leaders, taking a number of New Zealand veterans with him.

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.

High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

On 16 December 2016, it was announced that Mateparae would be New Zealand's next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, replacing Sir Lockwood Smith in early 2017.

Personal life

Mateparae has three children with his first wife, Raewynne, who died in 1990, and two with his second wife, Janine.

Medals and awards

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
Murray Brennan GNZM investiture (Mateparae cropped)
Mateparae wearing his medals

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. He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.

Mateparae was appointed an Additional Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 1999 New Year Honours, for his service in Bougainville. In May 2011 the Singapore government awarded him the Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) – Distinguished Service Order (Military). 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.

New Zealand Order of Merit ribbon.svg Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2011)
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (1999)
Ribbon bar of the Queen's Service Medal.svg Companion of the Queen's Service Order (2011)
Order of St John (UK) ribbon -vector.svg 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)
United States Navy Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg US Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation

Honorary degrees

Honorary degrees
Location Date School Degree
 New Zealand 12 May 2011 Massey University Doctor of Literature (D.Litt)

Dates of rank

Rank Date Role Insignia
Private 1972
NZ Army OR-1.svg
Second Lieutenant 1976
NZ Army OF-1a.svg
Major 1985 B Company Commander, 1 RNZIR
NZ Army OF-3.svg
Lieutenant Colonel 1991–1994 Commanding Officer, 1 RNZIR
NZ Army OF-4.svg
Colonel 30 September 1996
NZ Army OF-5.svg
Brigadier 24 December 1999 Land Component Commander
NZ Army OF-6.svg
Major General February 2002 Chief of Army
NZ Army OF-7.svg
Lieutenant General 1 May 2006 Chief of Defence Force
NZ Army OF-8.svg


See also

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