Sir Paul Alfred Reeves, ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, CF, QSO, (born December 6, 1932) was Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand from 1980 to 1985 and Governor-General of New Zealand from 22 November 1985 to 20 November 1990.
Reeves was educated at Wellington College
and at Victoria College, University of New Zealand
(Victoria University of Wellington
), where he graduated a BA
and an MA
. He went on to study for ordination
in the Church of the Province of New Zealand
at St John's College, Auckland
, receiving his Licentiate in Theology
Ministry as deacon and priest
Reeves was ordained deacon
. After serving a brief curacy
, he spent the period 1959
. From 1959
he was an Advanced Student at St Peter's College, Oxford
, MA 1965
) as well as Assistant Curate
at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin
. He was ordained priest
. He served two further curacies
, first at Kirkley St Peter
), then at Lewisham St Mary
Returning to New Zealand, Reeves was Vicar of Okato St Paul (1964–66), Lecturer in Church History at St John's College, Auckland (1966–69), and Director of Christian Education for the Anglican Diocese of Auckland (1969–71).
Ministry as bishop, archbishop, and primate
Reeves was appointed Bishop of Waiapu
and consecrated to the episcopate
. He was Bishop of Auckland 1979
and Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand 1980
Involvement in politics
During this time he also served as chairman of the Environmental Council (1974
); he was a supporter of Citizens for Rowling
(the campaign for the re-election of Labour Prime Minister Bill Rowling
); and he served as president of the National Council of Churches in New Zealand (1984
In 2004 Reeves attracted controversy by making a statement in support of New Zealand becoming a republic
, stating in an interview, "...if renouncing knighthoods was a prerequisite to being a citizen of a republic, I think it would be worth it." However, he subsequentially stated that he did not want to partake in a debate on the matter.
Reeves has recently been involved in a campaign against the New Zealand Police
being armed with Taser guns
On the advice of Prime Minister David Lange
, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Reeves as the 16th Governor-General of New Zealand
on 22 November 1985
. His appointment was met with some scepticism due to his previous political involvement in Citizens for Rowling
, opposing the 1981 Springbok Tour
, and the fact that he was an ordained Bishop. The Leader of the Opposition
, Jim McLay
opposed the appointment on these grounds, stating "How can an ordained priest fulfil that [constitutional] role?". However, many Maori groups welcomed the appointment, with Sir James Henare
arguing "It must be a fruit of the Treaty of Waitangi
to see a person from our people". He was the first (and up to the present day the only) cleric
to hold the post. Moreover, as a member of the Puketapu Hapu of the Te Atiawa of Taranaki
, he was the first (and again, only) Governor-General to be at least partially of Māori
descent (although not the first to be fluent in Te Reo Māori).
During his term, Sir Paul joined the Newtown Residents' Association, and invited members of that association to visit Government House.
Reeves remained in office until 20 November 1990.
After his retirement from the vice-regal office Reeves became the Anglican Consultative Council
Observer at the United Nations
in New York
) and Assistant Bishop of New York
). From 1994
he served briefly as Dean
of Te Whare Wānanga o Te Rau Kahikatea (the theological college of Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa, and a constituent member of St John's College, Auckland
). He was also Deputy Leader of the Commonwealth
Observer group to South Africa
, Chair of the Nelson Mandela
Trust, and Visiting Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at the University of Edinburgh
Reeves went on to chair the Fiji Constitution Review Commission from 1995 until 1997, culminating in Fiji's readmission to the Commonwealth, until its suspension in 2000. On 12 December 1997 it was reported that Reeves was involved with "secret talks" to resolve Fiji's year-long political crisis, following the 2006 Fijian coup d'état.
He is currently the Chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology.
Honours and other awards
Reeves was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal
), he was appointed a Chaplain of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem
in April 1982, Knight Bachelor
in the New Zealand Birthday Honours
1985, a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George
on 6 November 1985
, a Knight of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem
in 1986, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
on 2 March 1986
. In 1990
he became a Companion of the Queen's Service Order
. He is also a Companion of the Order of Fiji
There was some concern regarding Reeves' using the title Sir, as members of the clergy in the Church of England do not usually receive this title when knighted, and the same rule presumably applied to the Anglican Church in New Zealand. To avoid placing the Queen in an awkward situation (Governors General would by tradition be knighted by her in person at Buckingham Palace), the Prime Minister of the time, David Lange, made Reeves a Knight Bachelor before meeting her. Consequently, when Reeves went to receive the GCMG from the Queen, he was already Sir Paul.
On Waitangi Day 2007 he was awarded New Zealand highest honour, being admitted to the Order of New Zealand.
The University of Oxford conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Civil Law in 1985 and his college, St Peter's, appointed him an Honorary Fellow in 1981 and a Trustee in 1994. A Fellowship of St John's College, Auckland followed in 1989. He has received other honorary degrees, including an LLD of Victoria University of Wellington (1989), a DD of the General Theological Seminary, New York (1992), and the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Edinburgh (1994).
Recent changes allow him to use the style The Honourable for life.