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Anand Satyanand the next Governor-General

3 April 2006

PM welcomes Anand Satyanand as next Governor-General

The Prime Minister announcing the new Governor-General at today's post cabinet press conference - Scoop Image


Prime Minister Helen Clark today welcomed the announcement that the Queen has approved the appointment of Judge Anand Satyanand to succeed Dame Silvia Cartwright as Governor-General of New Zealand.

“Judge Satyanand will bring many personal strengths to the role of Governor-General, including a broad knowledge of the workings of government and the law, as well as a deep appreciation of the different groups and communities which make up contemporary New Zealand.

“Judge Satyanand has had a multi-faceted career as a lawyer, a judge, and an ombudsman. Throughout his working life Judge Satyanand has made a substantial contribution to legal reform and legal education.

“He has been active in a range of community, cultural and sporting groups, and maintains an abiding interest in international affairs and New Zealand’s relationships with other countries.

Anand Satyanand listens to the Prime Minister announcing he will be New Zealand's next Governor-General - Scoop Image


“Judge Satyanand has close ties to Asia and to the Pacific. He is of Indian descent and his parents moved to New Zealand from Fiji.

“The role of Governor-General in the 21st century is a demanding one. New Zealand is extremely fortunate to have a person of Judge Satyanand’s calibre and background who is prepared to serve as New Zealand’s next Governor-General.

“The government conveys its best wishes to Judge Satyanand and his wife, Susan.

“Dame Silvia Cartwright will complete her term on 4 August 2006 and Judge Satyanand will be sworn in as Governor-General at a date to be determined thereafter,” Helen Clark said.

Biography of Judge Anand Satyanand, DCNZM

Judge Anand Satyanand has had a multi-faceted career as a lawyer, a judge, and an ombudsman. These roles have given him a unique perspective on the workings of government and its relationship with citizens, and the needs of individuals.

Born and raised in Auckland, he attended Auckland schools: Richmond Road Primary in Ponsonby, and Sacred Heart College in Glen Innes. After graduating with a law degree from the University of Auckland in 1970, Judge Satyanand spent the next 12 years in practice in Auckland, including employment with the Crown Solicitors’ Office, and subsequently in partnership with Shieff Angland Solicitors. He became a district court judge in 1982, holding warrants for both criminal and civil jurisdictions. His main specialist work was in the criminal law area as a trial judge for 10 years.

In 1995 Judge Satyanand was appointed as an ombudsman, completing two five-year terms in February 2005. In this role, he dealt with complaints about unfairness on the part of government officials, assessed governance processes, and worked in the freedom of information area.

Throughout his career, Judge Satyanand has contributed to professional legal education in New Zealand and internationally. He has been a teacher and mentor to many individuals and institutions, and has written and published considerably in specialist areas. He has also been a regular contributor to a Commonwealth Secretariat-funded Ombudsman training programme each year since 1998. Judge Satyanand has been frequently called on as a presenter, chair, moderator, and facilitator at a wide range of seminars, professional education courses, and debates.

Since the completion of his term as an ombudsman, Judge Satyanand’s experience and expertise have been called on in a number of areas. He recently reviewed the New Zealand Banking Ombudsman Scheme. With this announcement that he will be the next Governor-General, Judge Satyanand will be standing down from two current roles as Chairman of the Confidential Forum for Former In Patients of Psychiatric Hospitals, and as the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests of Members of Parliament.

Judge Satyanand has a long-standing interest in international affairs and New Zealand’s place in the world. He has been a Board member of Asia New Zealand Foundation since 2000, and is currently on the national bodies of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs and Transparency International.

He is a long time contributor to community events, both cultural and sporting. Prior to his appointment as a Judge he spent a number of years in football administration with New Zealand Rugby League, and some time as a member of the Freemans Bay Community Committee. Whilst working as a Judge, he had two principal areas of community contact: as a prison board chairman and as a member of the national parole board.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2005, Judge Satyanand was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DCNZM).

Judge Satyanand was born in Auckland on 22 July, 1944 and raised in New Zealand. His grandparents migrated from India to Fiji at the turn of the 20th century. In turn his parents took up residence in New Zealand from Fiji, following completion of their education.

Judge Satyanand was educated in Auckland and practised law in Auckland before working as a judge in Palmerston North, Waitakere, Otahuhu and Auckland. As an ombudsman, he was based in Wellington, but with responsibility for work emanating from the Auckland office covering the country north of Lake Taupo. He and his wife Susan were married in 1970, and they have three adult children.


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