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New GG

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, September 29th, 2016 - 24 comments
Categories: Media, Politics, republic - Tags:

Yesterday we got a new effective Head of State.  The Queen is of course still the nominal Head of State, so no change for 63 years there, but the actual person doing the duties was sworn in.

Dame Patsy Reddy took over the role, and will over the next 5 years see over 2 general elections, pass ‘royal assent’ over every law, and has the capacity to dismiss the government.

So of course it was a minor news item, a few pictures or soundbites of the ceremony, and John Key giving his approval.  Surely this is a significant moment in the course of our nation?

Hopefully it’ll get more coverage when we eventually go to a republic, and they’re nominal and effective Head of State.  Geoffrey Palmer’s proposed constitution looks a good start.  Maybe some tweaks:  3 year fixed term for parliament?  More than 50% majority in the parliamentary free vote for Head of State to ensure a unifying non-political candidate?  Still, a parliamentary free vote is a significant improvement on our current process, with John Key just choosing.

Anyway: congrats Dame Patsy, and may you go well in the role.

24 comments on “New GG ”

  1. Richard Rawshark 1

    Who says we want to be a republic?

    Bit of an arrogant assumption.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    If appointment of a GG becomes an important event in this country, then we have problems.

  3. GregJ 3

    Sorry to be a “Syntax Socialist” but “royal assent”


    [Ben: Oop! fixed, thank-you]

  4. Wensleydale 4

    I look forward to Dame Patsy Reddy following in the footsteps of her predecessors by doing… not very much at all.

    • mary_a 4.1

      Oh come on Wensleydale (4), be fair. The new GG will no doubt be a busy girl, presiding over knighting one John Philip Key and a few of his prominent toxic front bench henchmen/women during her tenure. That’s in the unfortunate event of this odious government being given another term of office!

      That will top off Patsy’s claim to infamy, honouring the traitors for their treachery against the people of NZ, along with blindly signing off some suspect legislation changes to suit her mentors in government and their corrupt cronies!

      • Wensleydale 4.1.1

        True, Mary. I’m sure she’ll be kept very busy cutting ribbons, standing about looking important, and telling the general public not to worry, and that everything’s going to be fine. I stand corrected.

      • Smilin 4.1.2

        The only part of a Knighthood that will be apt for Key is the hood as he counts his ill gotten gains of the cost on us having had to endure his arrogant bs

  5. Michelle 5

    So Jerry muppetparae has been replaced by another muppet

  6. de Withiel 6

    Reddy is a bit more than your average decorative muppet. According to her official biography she’s your classic neoliberal apparatchik:

    “In 1987 she joined Brierley Investments Ltd as Group Legal Counsel and subsequently became Group Manager for Special Projects. During her 11 years at Brierley Investments she was involved in numerous mergers and acquisitions, including the privatisation and subsequent flotation of Air New Zealand, and the construction, establishment and flotation of Sky City Entertainment Ltd. She represented Brierley Investments on the Boards of both of these companies following their listing and continued to serve on the board of Sky City Entertainment as Deputy Chair until 2008. In 1999 she and two colleagues co-founded Active Equities Limited, a private investment company.”

    All that work for the asset strippers, the gamblers and, more recently, the oil industry (Southern Petroleum and the New Zealand Transport Agency), in fact a perfect representative of our increasingly corrupt, carbon emitting, casino culture.

    • thechangeling 6.1

      So three guesses who appointed her and why? Can she be removed and replaced by somebody more suitable? Someone who actually did stuff to help people rather than someone who was all out to make as much money as possible for herself and her cronies?

      • gsays 6.1.1

        appointments like this or director of gcsb only get changed at short notice if it suits dear leader’s purposes.

  7. As for why it didn’t get any coverage: Because honestly, the GG is not important. Their powers are “reserve” powers, as in they are undermining elected representatives if they’re used, so they’re not used unless the elected representatives can’t sort things out themselves. Everything else they do is on explicit instruction from Parliament (including appointing the PM) or from the Prime Minister.

    People who believe there ought to be constitutional importance to what the GG does are basically asking for a republic, where we can actually elect someone to a similar role and write laws that govern the use of their powers so that they don’t go overboard with them.

  8. Anne 8

    I rather like Dimpost’s rumination on the GG ceremony so paste it here in full.

    Dame Patsy Reddy has been officially sworn in as New Zealand’s 21st governor-general at a ceremony in Wellington.

    Hundreds of people, including film-makers Sir Peter Jackson and Reddy’s former neighbour James Cameron, were at Parliament’s grounds on Wednesday morning.

    Maybe I’m overthinking this, but it seems very symbolic that people like Peter Jackson and James Cameron now oversee the swearing in of the new head of state. Like, a couple decades ago it would have been the clergy who represented a higher power sanctifying the occasion, but now that role is played by celebrity members of the trans-national elite.

    Interesting point!

    • Incognito 8.1

      I think they are a bit more than “celebrity members of the trans-national elite” and we should ask how they got to this elevated status.

      They are the new high priests, the directors of Hollywood blockbusters. They are the new story tellers who spin a compelling narrative and create & generate the visual imagery to go with the fantasy. And they’re very good at what they’re doing and making millions; a neo-liberal wet dream.

      No wonder that some of these ‘weavers of magic and make-belief’ get the attention of the powers that be. It can be a dangerous mix!

      Other story tellers that may have a more critical voice (e.g. Eleanor Catton MNZM) might not get invited to the GG’s swearing-in ceremony. (NB Catton won the 2013 Governor General’s Award for English-language fiction for The Luminaries)

  9. mosa 9

    It did not get coverage because…

    1 Not a juicy enough photo opp for Slippery John.

    2 The media are not interested unless it helps the National party publicity machine.

    3 With her corporate background she was an obvious choice for a corporate PM who would have salivated at her career history knowing “she is one of us” and will do the job perfectly and may be around to knight the PM for his service to his donors and other interests.

  10. the pigman 10

    Reply function all jacked up sadly.

    Lanth said:

    If appointment of a GG becomes an important event in this country, then we have problems.

    Paul Campbell agreed.

    I disagree.

    After all, the GG does exercise the powers of the crown, which can be deployed against democracy when HM sees fit. And hey, it’s not as if it hasn’t happened: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kerr_(governor-general)

  11. Keith 11

    Just wondering why my comment with a link to a Stuff article about Patsy’s activity as a shonkey lawyer was not published. Is this website just for the regulars?

    [The machine has to vet you first Keith. Comment now approved – MS]

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