The Governor-General of New Zealand is the local representative of the Queen of New Zealand, Queen Elizabeth II, and as such is the highest office in the Government of New Zealand. The position of the Governor-General is similar to that in other Commonwealth realms, of which the Queen is also Head of State. The office's full title is The Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in and over New Zealand.
The Governor-General also represented the British Government until 1939 when the diplomatic functions were transferred to a High Commissioner. This was 13 years after the Balfour Declaration and after the functions were separated in the other Dominions. This was due to the New Zealand belief that such a thing would promote separatism within the British Empire.
The Governor-General is also the Governor of the Ross Dependency, which maintains a separate legal system from 'mainland New Zealand', inside the Realm of New Zealand (official link (http://www.mfat.govt.nz/foreign/antarctica/ross/rossdependency.html)).
The Governor-General's main residence is at Government House, Wellington.
List of Lieutenant-Governors, Governors and Governors-General
Lieutenant-Governors, Governors and Governors-General of New Zealand
(under Lieutenant-Colonel Sir George Gipps RE, Governor of New South Wales 1837 - 1846, and Governor-in-Chief of New Zealand 1839 - 1841)
1841 - 1853 NZ a Crown Colony of Britain
1853 - 1907 NZ a self-governing colony
Title: Governor of New Zealand
1907 to present: New Zealand as dominion and, later, realm
With the title: Governor-General of New Zealand
Sir Arthur Porritt was the first New Zealand-born Governor General (although he had been living in Britain for 31 years at the time of his appointment). All Governors-General since Sir Denis Blundell have been New Zealand born and resident.
Note: The 'acting Governor-General' is known as the Administrator of the Government, or simply Administrator in every day usage.
- Official Website of the Governor-General of NZ (http://www.gg.govt.nz)