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Sir Michael Hardie Boys
Sir Michael Hardie Boys.jpg
Hardie Boys in 2001
17th Governor-General of New Zealand
In office
21 March 1996 – 21 March 2001
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Jim Bolger
Jenny Shipley
Helen Clark
Preceded by Dame Catherine Tizard
Succeeded by Dame Silvia Cartwright
Personal details
Born (1931-10-06)6 October 1931
Wellington, New Zealand
Died 29 December 2023(2023-12-29) (aged 92)
Mary Zohrab
(m. 1957)
Profession Judge

Sir Michael Hardie Boys, GNZM, GCMG, QSO, KStJ, PC (6 October 1931 – 29 December 2023) was a New Zealand lawyer, judge and jurist who served as the 17th Governor-General of New Zealand, in office from 1996 to 2001.

Early life and family

Hardie Boys was born in 1931 in Wellington. His father was the Hon. Reginald Hardie Boys (1903–1970), a judge of the Supreme Court. After his schooling at Hataitai School and Wellington College, Hardie Boys gained a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University College in 1954. Hardie Boys married Mary Zohrab in 1957. They had two sons and two daughters.

Legal career

A lawyer by profession, Hardie Boys was a partner in his father's law firm; this became Scott Hardie Boys & Morrison. He was on the council of the Wellington District Court Law Society (1973–1979) before he became its president in 1979. He was on the council of the New Zealand Law Society (1976–1979). For the New Zealand Law Society, he served on the Legal Aid Board before appointed its chairman in 1978.

Hardie Boys became a judge of the High Court of New Zealand in 1980 (prior to 1980, the name was Supreme Court, i.e. he sat in the same court that his father had). In 1989 he was elevated to the Court of Appeal, and was appointed a Privy Counsellor. In 1994 he was elected as an Honorary Bencher at Gray's Inn, and in 1995 became an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He was also a visiting fellow at Wolfson. In the 1996 New Year Honours, Hardie Boys was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Governor-General of New Zealand

Bill Clinton Michael Hardie-Boys
Hardie Boys (left) with United States President Bill Clinton, 1999

On 21 March 1996, Hardie Boys was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand on the advice of Prime Minister Jim Bolger, as the Governor-General of New Zealand. As the 1996 New Zealand general election would be the first MMP election, the appointment of a lawyer was desirable.

In the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours, Hardie Boys was the first person appointed a Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He was also appointed a Knight of the Order of St John of Jerusalem in April 1996.

Upon the completion of his term on 21 March 2001, Sir Michael and Lady Hardie Boys were both appointed additional Companions of the Queen's Service Order.

Retirement and death

After his retirement as Governor-General of New Zealand, Hardie Boys served as a judge of the Kiribati Court of Appeal. He lived in retirement at Waikanae, where he helped out at Kapanui School's literacy programme.

In 2004, Hardie Boys stated his opposition to New Zealand becoming a republic, stating in an interview: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Hardie Boys died on 29 December 2023, at the age of 92.


See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Michael Hardie Boys para niños

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