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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Restrictions Upon Exercise of Functions

One important function which the Governor-General once carried out was to act not only as representative of the British Crown but also as the agent in New Zealand for the British Government. Since 1939, however, High Commissioners have been appointed in the United Kingdom and New Zealand by the New Zealand and the British Governments respectively to act as channels of communication between the two Governments, so that now the Governor-General, although he acts as the channel of communication between New Zealand and the Crown, does not act as agent for, or as channel of communication with, the British Government. With this important exception it would be true to say that the functions and authority formally conferred upon the Governor-General have continued to increase over the years. Nevertheless, at the same time there has been a concomitant restriction not upon the scope, but upon the manner of exercise of these functions. Consequently, the personal discretion of the Governor-General has been almost entirely removed by the joint interaction of express legal provisions and conventional practice.