Queen approves Catholic for new Kiwi GG

For the first time, the Queen has approved a Catholic for appointment to the position of Governor-General of New Zealand.

Sixty-one-year-old Judge Anand Satyanand, a Fijian of Indian descent, is a regular mass-goer and parishioner of St Joseph's, Mt Victoria, in Wellington.

Australia has had Catholic Governor-Generals, but this is a first for New Zealand, which has a significantly lower proportion of Catholics in its population.

"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," said Prime Minister Helen Clark. "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."

Hinting a possible controversy, the AIDS Foundation pointed out that Satyanand is a Catholic, and that the tradition of Governor-Generals accepting patronage of the AIDS Fondation - which has been followed until now - is not automatic.

Judge Anand Satyanand to be Governor-General (National Business Review 2/4/06)
New GG to be asked about patronage (GayNZ.com 4/4/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Governor-General of New Zealand
St Joseph's, Mt Victoria

Fiji welcomes appointment of Anand Satynand as next New Zealand governor general (Radio New Zealand International 4/4/06)
NZ gets praise for religious tolerance (NZ Catholic 26/3/06)

5 Apr 2006