Patsy Reddy

Her Excellency The Right Honourable
Dame Patsy Reddy
21st Governor-General of New Zealand
Assumed office
28 September 2016
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister John Key
Preceded by Sir Jerry Mateparae
Personal details
Born Patricia Lee Reddy
(1954-05-17) 17 May 1954
Matamata, New Zealand
Spouse(s) 1. Geoff Harley (div.)[1]
2. Sir David Gascoigne
Alma mater Victoria University of Wellington

Dame Patricia Lee "Patsy" Reddy GNZM QSO DStJ (born 17 May 1954) is the 21st Governor-General of New Zealand, sworn in on 28 September 2016. She is a lawyer and non-executive director. She is the third woman to be appointed to the position, after Catherine Tizard and Sylvia Cartwright.

Early life and education

Born in Matamata, New Zealand, on 17 May 1954,[2] Reddy is the daughter of Neil William and Catherine Marjorie "Kay" Reddy, both of whom were schoolteachers.[3] Three of her forebears left Ireland and went to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. A distant cousin, singer Helen Reddy, is descended from the Australian forebear.[4] Patsy Reddy was raised in the small Waikato towns of Te Akau and Minginui until her family moved to Hamilton when she was six years old. There, she attended Hillcrest Primary School, Peachgrove Intermediate School and Hamilton Girls' High School.[3]

Reddy completed her university studies at Victoria University of Wellington, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in 1976 and a Master of Laws with first-class honours in 1979.[3][5]


Reddy was a junior lecturer and then lecturer at Victoria University's Faculty of Law.[5] In 1982 she joined the Wellington firm Watts and Patterson (now Minter Ellison Rudd Watts), becoming their first female partner in 1983. She specialised in tax, corporate and film law. She later took up a position at Brierley Investments, where she was employed for 11 years, and worked on large acquisition negotiations such as the privatisation of Air New Zealand.[6]

Reddy is the chair of the New Zealand Film Commission and Education Payroll Ltd and is a director of Payments NZ Ltd and Active Equity Holdings Ltd. She is a chief Crown negotiator for Treaty of Waitangi settlements and a lead reviewer for the Performance Improvement Framework for the State Services Commission. She is also the deputy chair of the New Zealand Transport Agency. Her previous directorships include Telecom Corporation of New Zealand Ltd, SKYCITY Entertainment Group, New Zealand Post and Air New Zealand.[7]

In 2016, Reddy and Sir Michael Cullen collaborated on an independent report to the New Zealand government reviewing legislation covering the country's spy agencies. Their report was released on 9 March 2016, two weeks before Reddy's appointment as Governor-General was publicly announced.[8] The report recommended expanding the Government Communications Security Bureau's rights to monitor the personal communications of New Zealanders, and was met with some controversy.[9]

Reddy is also involved in a number of non-governmental organisations, particularly in the arts and gender equality.[10] She was one of the founding members in 2009 of Global Women New Zealand, a group of prominent women who advocate for inclusion and diversity in leadership.[3][11]


In March 2016, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II had approved the appointment of Reddy as the next Governor-General of New Zealand, for a five-year term starting on 14 September 2016.[12]

She is the country's 21st Governor-General and third woman to hold the position, after Dame Catherine Tizard and Dame Silvia Cartwright.[13]

Personal life

Reddy is married to the former New Zealand Judicial Conduct Commissioner, Sir David Gascoigne.[3] They married one week before her appointment as Governor General was announced. She and her first husband, Geoff Harley, a tax barrister, divorced in 1988.[14] Both husbands were her associates at Rudd Watts & Stone in Wellington in the 1980s. [15]

Honours and awards

Viceregal styles of
Dame Patsy Reddy
Reference style Her Excellency the Right Honourable
Spoken style Your Excellency
Alternative style Ma'am

In the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours Reddy was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the arts and business.[16] In June 2016, she was appointed as a Dame of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.[17]

She was promoted to an additional Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and appointed an additional Companion of the Queen’s Service Order on 27 June 2016 in preparation of becoming Governor-General.[18]

Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2016)
Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2014)
Companion of the Queen's Service Order (2016)
Dame of Justice of the Order of St John (2016)


  1. "16 Things You Didn't Know About Dame Patsy Reddy". LawFuel. 22 March 2016.
  2. Taylor, Alister, ed. (2001). New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa 2001. Auckland: Alister Taylor Publishers. p. 739. ISSN 1172-9813.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "New Governor-General: who is Dame Patsy Reddy?". New Zealand Herald. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  4. Young, Audrey (23 March 2016). "Spotlight falls on quiet achiever". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  5. 1 2 "Dame Patsy Reddy – biographical notes" (PDF). Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  6. Sachdeva, Sam (22 March 2016). "Who is Dame Patsy Reddy, and what will she do as Governor-General?". Stuff. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  7. "NZTA: Our Board". NZ Transport Agency. 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  8. Sachdeva, Sam (9 March 2016). "Spy agencies explainer: what you need to know about the report into spying laws". Stuff. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  9. "Greens "surprised" by Reddy appointment after controversial spy review". Wellington.Scoop. March 22, 2016. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  10. Young, Audrey (22 March 2016). "Dame Patsy Reddy to be Governor-General". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  11. "Global Women". Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  12. Key, John (22 March 2016). "PM welcomes Dame Patsy Reddy as the next Governor-General" (Press release).
  13. Price, Rosanna; Moir, Jo (22 March 2016). "Dame Patsy Reddy was 'stunned' when offered Governor-General role". Stuff. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  14. "New Governor-General Patsy Reddy ties the knot with long-term partner". stuff. stuff. Retrieved 31 Aug 2016.
  15. "Five minutes with… Lloyd Kavanagh, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts". NZ Lawyer. NZ Lawyer. Retrieved 31 Aug 2016.
  16. "Queen's Birthday honours list 2014". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  17. The London Gazette: no. 61619. p. 13264. 15 June 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  18. "Announcement of honours for Dame Patsy Reddy". Retrieved 27 June 2016.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Patsy Reddy.
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Jerry Mateparae
Governor-General of New Zealand
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/5/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.