Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the announcement that the Queen has approved the appointment of Dame Patsy Reddy as the next Governor-General of New Zealand.

Dame Patsy will be appointed for a five-year term starting on September 14. She succeeds Sir Jerry Mateparae who will complete his term on August 31.

“I am delighted Dame Patsy accepted the role,” says Mr Key. “She is a passionate New Zealander, a well-respected businesswoman and a staunch supporter of our creative sector.

“She is thoughtful, articulate and has a brilliant legal mind. I am sure New Zealanders will be proud to have her as our Governor-General.”

The Prime Minister said, “New Zealand is well regarded for gender equality, having been the first country to give women the vote. Dame Patsy’s appointment sends a strong message about New Zealand valuing women in leadership roles.’’

Mr Key says it has been a privilege to work alongside Sir Jerry Mateparae.

“I would like to thank Sir Jerry for his dedication and service in his role as Governor-General and wish him and Lady Janine all the very best for the future,” says Mr Key.There will be a State farewell for Sir Jerry Mateparae on August 24.

Dame Patsy was born in Matamata and lived her early years in TeAkau and then Minginui, where her parents, Neil and Kay Reddy, were school teachers. The family moved to Hamilton when she was six and she completed her schooling at Hillcrest Primary School, Peachgrove Intermediate and Hamilton Girls High School.

Graduating from the Victoria University of Wellington in LLB in 1976 and an LLM (First Class Honours) in 1979, she joined the Law Faculty as a Junior Lecturer and subsequently as a Lecturer.

In 1982, she joined the law firm Watts and Patterson (now Minter Ellison Rudd Watts), and became the first female partner in 1983, specialising in tax, corporate and film law. In 1987, she joined Brierley Investments Ltd as Group Legal Counsel and subsequently became Group Manager for Special Projects. During her 11 years at Brierley Investments, she was involved in numerous mergers and acquisitions, including the privatisation and subsequent flotation of Air New Zealand, and the construction, establishment and flotation of Sky City Entertainment Ltd. She represented Brierley Investments on the Boards of both of these companies following their listing and continued to serve on the board of Sky City Entertainment as Deputy Chair until 2008. In 1999, she and two colleagues co-founded Active Equities Limited, a private investment company.

Dame Patsy has had extensive experience in governance and consulting roles, both in the private and public sector. In addition to Air New Zealand and Sky City Entertainment, she has served as a non-executive director of Telecom Corporation, Southern Petroleum and New Zealand Post. Her current governance roles include Chair of the New Zealand Film Commission, Deputy Chair of New Zealand Transport Agency, Chair of Education Payroll Ltd and independent director of Payments NZ Ltd. She has also served as a member of the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal and as a member of the Risk and Assurance Committee for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Major consulting roles have included as an Independent Reviewer (with Sir Michael Cullen) of Intelligence and Security in New Zealand, Independent Facilitator of the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity, Senior Reviewer for Performance Improvement Framework Reviews of government agencies, and as a Chief Crown Negotiator of Treaty Settlements for Tauranga Moana and TeToko Toru.

Dame Patsy has also had significant involvement in governance of creative and charitable organisations, including as Trustee of the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, the Victoria University Foundation, the Victoria University Art Collection Trust, the Spark Art Trust, the Wellington Jazz Festival Trust, the Symphony Orchestra Foundation, and Sky City Community Trust. She was a founding Trustee and advisory board member for New Zealand Global Women and has chaired the Board of the New Zealand Film Archive.

In 2014, she became a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM) for services to the arts and business.

Dame Patsy is married to Sir David Gascoigne and they divide their time between Wellington and the Wairarapa. Her interests include the arts in all forms, but especially film, the visual arts and opera, gardening, cooking and her miniature poodle, Coco.