Spotlight on Parliament: A vice-regal responsibility
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Spotlight on Parliament: A vice-regal responsibility

November 28, 2019

Kia ora koutou! Ko Jay tōku ingoa. Hi there, my name’s Jay and you’ll notice
today we’re not at Parliament. Or are we? Parliament is made up of two very distinct
parts: The House of Representatives, which is the noisy debating chamber we’re all familiar
with, and the Sovereign. Now, because the Queen isn’t down here in
Aotearoa, she appoints a representative to do her job for her. Haere mai ki te Whare Kawana, koie nei Tīwhiri
Pāremata. Welcome to Government House, and to this Spotlight on the Governor-General. Now Dame Patsy Reddy is our current Governor-General,
and Dame Patsy it’s a pleasure to be here. But tell me, what is the Governor-General’s
role with Parliament? Jay there’s quite a range of things that I
do, including signing bills into law, issuing a proclamation to dissolve Parliament before
an election, signing the writ to hold and election, appointing Government following
the election, delivering the Speech from the Throne, and confirming the House’s choice
of Speaker. Wonderful, that’s quite a lot that you do. I hear that you don’t visit Parliament too
often but when you do there’s certain parts of the House you can’t go into. That’s correct. By convention the Governor-General doesn’t
enter the Debating Chamber. So when I deliver the Speech from the Throne,
it’s in the Legislative Council Chamber. My representative, who’s called the Usher
of the Black Rod, summons the MPs to come to the Chamber to hear the speech. The job comes with a pretty impressive House,
and it’s stepped in some amazing history – is there a favorite part of Government House
for you? Yes, I really enjoy walking along this corridor. On either side are the portraits of my predecessors
– dating right back from 1840 with this amazing portrait of Governor William Hobson, right
through to my most immediate predecessor Sir Jerry Mateparae. There’s an unbroken line of 38 Governors and
Governors-General, and I enjoy thinking about what it was like for was for each of them. What do you feel makes the role of Governor-General
matter? We are fortunate to live in a democracy, and
although New Zealanders might not think about how that impacts on their lives, continuity
and stability are important for everyone’s well being. I’m privileged to play my part in those constitutional
arrangements. Well there you have it. The Governor-General is an significant kaitiaki
of democracy here in Aotearoa. If this has got you interested, you can find
more videos on our website, or you can find out more information on Parliament or Government
House’s websites. Or, you could come for a tour here at Government
House. Until then:
Ka kite āno, and we’ll see you again soon. You know, you could, like, knight me right
now? I’m afraid not Jay, that’s not how it works. Oh.

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