31 Aug 2011

New Governor-General's iwi proud of his achievements

6:59 pm on 31 August 2011

A Whanganui River kaumatua, Te Anatipa Morvin Simon, says the new Governor-General who was sworn in on Wednesday deserves the honour, after a distinguished career rising through the ranks of the New Zealand Army.


Mr Simon led the large contingent of Whanganui River iwi who welcomed all of the dignitaries and important guests to the swearing in ceremony for Lieutenant-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, as the Queen's representative.

Sir Jerry was born, raised and educated in Whanganui and is affiliated to the river iwi.

Mr Simon says some of his relatives served with Sir Jerry in the defence force and were proud to honour him.

He says his old comrades were happy to make the trip to the capital and wear their army medals as a sign of their deepest respect.

Mr Simon says he is proud a son of Whanganui has achieved the highest post, and is confident he will represent New Zealand with the greatest mana.

A Taranaki iwi member says he's proud another Maori has been selected to be the next Governor-General.


Sir Jerry is the second person of Maori descent to take the office of Governor-General after the late Sir Paul Reeves of Te Atiawa.

Mahara Okeroa says both Sir Paul Reeves and Sir Jerry Mateparae started from humble beginnings, and are inclusive leaders with the ability to carry the people with them.

He says the honour is only handed to a few distinguished New Zealanders, and he says Sir Jerry has attained that role through his own merits.

Sir Jerry Mateparae traces his whakapapa to Tuwharetoa, Ngati Kahungunu, Tuhoe and the upper Whanganui river tribes.