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Governor-General Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro’s statement on the death of Sir Michael Hardie Boys, GNZM, GCMG, QSO, KStJ, PC

30 December 2023

The Governor-General Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro and Dr Richard Davies were deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of former Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys.

Sir Michael served as Governor-General from 1996-2001, and came to the role after a distinguished legal career. Sir Michael was appointed at a time when New Zealanders were adjusting to the MMP electoral system, and visited Ireland and Denmark to see how their proportional representation systems worked. His successors can thank him for clearly articulating the role of a Governor-General following an MMP election, particularly on those occasions when the result of the election is uncertain. On the role of the Governor-General more broadly, Sir Michael noted ‘there is still more to the office than the official smile, the genteel wave and the memory of plumed helmets of yesteryear.’ Sir Michael’s term was also notable for his promotion of youth excellence.

‘Sir Michael carried out his vice-regal duties with the utmost care and good humour, and took particular pride in encouraging and supporting the aspirations of young people,’ said Dame Cindy. ‘In carrying out my own duties as Governor-General during the recent election, I took great comfort in knowing I was following the principles Sir Michael so carefully laid out during his term. On behalf of all New Zealanders, Dr Davies and I extend our sincerest condolences to Sir Michael’s whānau at this sad time.’

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