Next Governor-General

Homepaddock blogs:

Queens Birthday is as good a time as any to speculate on who our next Governor General might be.

Trans Tasman’s weekly newsletter (you can subscribe here) suggests an unofficial list might include former Commonwealth Secretary-General Sir Don McKinnon, former PMs Jim Bolger and Dame Jenny Shipley and former Trade Mnister and chair of the Asia 2000 Foundation Philip Burdon.

I’d have thought Jim’s strong republican sympathies might preclude him. I think any of the others would be very good in the role and I’d put Jenny at the top of the list.

The term of Sir Anand Satyanand expires in August 2011. If it follows the same schedule as last time the next Governor-General will be offered the job around February 2011, and announced around April 2011.

I have to respectfully disagree with Ele though. While the above four people are all suitable in terms of their character and skills, they are not suitable as former MPs and politicians.

The Governor-General should be above politics, and scrupulously neutral. It should not be a retirement job for retired Ministers. The appointment of Sir Keith Holyoake was unwise, and should not become a precedent.

I think any political involvement, even if short of being an MP, should preclude appointment. Dame Cath Tizard was an inappropriate appointment also (not criticising the job she did) and even Sir Paul Reeves was marginal.

I have no idea whom the next Governor-General will be. They don’t have to have a high profile. They need to be successful in whatever career they have gone into, well respected and beyond reproach, able to represent NZ overseas, willing to do a mass of charity work and politically neutral.

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