The NZWA were honoured to welcome Sir Jerry Mateparae, the current High Commissioner of New Zealand to the UK. He commenced his appointment in London in March 2017 and gave a fascinating speech following our November lunch. His previous post was Governor General of NZ from 2011 – 2016. Before that he had an outstanding military career, serving in the Royal NZ Infantry Regiment, the NZ Special Air Service and the NZ Defence Force in conflict areas throughout the world.
Sir Jerry, born in Whanganui, explained his unique Coat of Arms which captures who he is through symbolism of his Maori history, his military career, family and the priorities of both himself and wife Janine. The crest motto, He Tangata, sums up the importance of the people he has met in his life – including Her Majesty The Queen, NZ veterans and charity workers who have inspired him.
It was a pleasure to listen to him and to know that he and the NZ High Commission ensure the continued cooperation between NZ and the UK and that NZ citizens in the UK are supported. Due to Brexit, part of his role is to also recognise extra opportunities for NZ and help develop them.