The Herald reports:
Prime Minister John Key is about to consider who the next Governor-General will be. And the word is he may buck the recent trend of appointing a former judge and opt for someone more unorthodox to the role.
Some of the names being tossed around by observers include Sir Don McKinnon, Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast and arts patron Dame Jenny Gibbs.
Philanthropist and recently named Distinguished Citizen of Auckland Rosie Horton said one person stood head and shoulders above others.
“Sir Don McKinnon. He has had an outstanding and highly revered international life and done a stunning job at the Commonwealth Secretariat, and he’s just a very fine New Zealander that we can all be proud of. And he’s come back to New Zealand.
On a personal level, Sir Don would be well suited for the role and would perform it well. However I maintain that former MPs should not be appointed to the job, regardless of how meritorious their post-parliamentary life. The GG should be non-partisan.
“[Philanthropist and arts patron] Dame Jenny Gibbs is also marvellous, very clever and gracious to meet and such a marvellous role model.”
Dame Jenny is an interesting possibility.
Property investor Sir Robert Jones said the Governor-General should be a New Zealander who was not a token appointment.
He said Kerry Prendergast would “be wonderful at the job”.
Heh I presume this means he is not standing a Mayoral candidate against her. While there would be precedent fer Kerry to be given the job, as Cath Tizard was, I still maintain that Kerry’s national party background makes her a sub-optimal appointment. Again, nothing to do with her personal qualities, but that the GG should not be a political figure.
Asked about Maori academic Sir Mason Durie, Sir Robert said he would be “very tokenistic”, and former Labour Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer would be “most unsuitable”.
I can’t see it going to a former Labour PM.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei would support a female representative of ethnic groups, but insisted she was not throwing her own hat into the ring.
I am surprised Metiria only insisted that the GG be ethnic and female. She forget to include the additional criteria of being left handed and disabled.
She said former Rugby World Cup Ambassador Andy Haden “might not be the best option”.
Can agree on that one.
The appointment is the Prime Minister’s alone. He can consult whom he wants, or no one at all.
Which is why I think the effective head of state should be (at a minimum) appointed by Parliament, not by the PM solely.
If Mr Key decided that another judge should live in Government House, then Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias could be a candidate, though husband Hugh Fletcher might be a more popular choice.
There is no way the Chief Justice will give up that job to become Governor-General.
Sir Kenneth Keith, who is serving on the International Court of Justice, may be less controversial than either of them.
Sir Kenneth would be a fine choice in my opinion.