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History

An image of the family of Sir Bernard Fergusson, Lady Laura Fergusson and son Geordie at Government House in Wellington in the early 1960s
Sir Bernard Fergusson, Lady Laura Fergusson and son Geordie at Government House in Wellington in the early 1960s

Find out how the role of Governor-General has evolved from 1840 until the present day.

Our earliest Governors and Governors-General came from England but as we have grown and changed as a country, so have our Vice-regal representatives. 

In this section. we'll tell you a little more about each of the people who has served a term in our highest office and also take a look at how the role has changed over the years.

 

In this section

  • Former Governors-General

    21 people -18 men and 3 women- have held the Vice-regal office in New Zealand since Captain William Hobson became Lieutenant-Governor in 1840. This timeline tells the story of each of them.
  • Changing attitudes to the monarchy

    Gavin McLean, Senior Historian with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, looks at Queen Elizabeth's reign.
  • New Zealand's Governor-General - an historical perspective

    Since 1840, when William Hobson was appointed as the first Governor, the role of the Governor-General has changed as New Zealand has evolved from a dependent colony to an independent nation.
Last updated: 
Monday, 27 February 2017

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