New Zealand Heads of State

Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
New Zealand/Aotearoa
(Female Suffrage for local elections 1867, universal suffrage 1893 and right to stand for election 1918) Colony 1840-1907until it became an independent Dominion. In 1987 the name was changed from Dominion of NZ.

Also see New Zealand Ministers

17??/18?? Paramount Chieftainess Hinematioro of the Ngati Porou Tribe

18....Ruataupare of the Te Whanau-a-Ruataupare
She was the wife of Tuwhakairiora. While their children were growing up they were continually spoken about as being 'the noble offspring of Tuwhakairiora', bearing his name only, while Ruataupare's name was utterly disregarded and was never mentioned. Ruataupare was offended and returned to her own area in Tokomaru Bay where she summoned all the tribes that were dwelling on her land to come and fight. They responded accordingly and war began. Ruataupare and her people were victorious and her name was loudly proclaimed, respected and feared throughout the district. So Ruataupare established herself as chieftainess of the Tokomaru Bay people and from her time to this day, the tribal group has been known as Te Whanau-a-Ruataupare.

18..... Chieftainess Mahinarangi of Kahungunu
A famous leader on the East Coast


Around 1865-73-? "Queen of the South" Rangi Kuini Wiktoria Topeoracca
She was a Leader in the Ngati Toa Tribe, and daughter of Te Rangiheaata, who was one of the four women who signed the treaty of Waitangi in 1840s.


1902 Ena Te Papatahi, a chieftainess from Ngati Whatua and Ngati Paoa (at Northland)

Around 1922 Te Aitu Te Irikau, Arawa Chieftainess


192..-1952 Maori Leader Princess Te Kirihaehae Te Puea Hērangi
After the devastating influenza epidemic of 1918, she gathered up 100 orphaned children and founded the community at NgÓruawahia now known as T¨rangawaewae. King Koroki V was a reluctant leader, and she provided the strength that drove the tribe forward. Raising money to buy back confiscated land she rebuilt Turangawaewae marae as a central bastion at Ngaruawahia. She ensured that every member marae held their poukai gatherings each year to maintain the solidarity needed to keep the fires of hope burning that one day justice would return the Raupatu lands. She had no offspring with her husband, Rewi Tumoko Katipa, but she adopted many children, and she groomed her grandniece, the Maori Queen Te Ata from 1966-2006. The daughter of Tahuna Herangi and Princess Tiahuia, and grand-daughter of King Tawhiao, she  was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1937, and lived (1884 - 1952).

1952- Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith (5.2-)
Until 1974 her title was Queen of the United Kingdom, New Zealand etc. She has been Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 1952. Also known as Kotuku. (b. 1926-)


1966-2006 Kuini of the Maori Te Arikinui Dame Te Ata-i Rangi-kaahu Koroki Te Rata Mahuta Tawhiao Potatau Te Weherowhero (23.05-15.08)
Piki Mahuta Te Atarangikaoĺs official New Zealand name is Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu Ariki nui of The Tainui & Arki Hui (Paramount Chief) of the other Maori Groups. Succeeded her father King Koriki V Te Wehrowhero as the 6th Maori regent.
 She had expressed to the wish to be succeeded by her oldest child, Princess Heeni Katipa, but the tribes elected her third child and oldest son as king. Mother of 7 children, and lived (1932-2006).


1990-96 Governor-General, Commander-in-Chief and President of the Executive Council, Rt. Hon Dame Catherine Tizard (20.11.90-21.3.96)
In 1983-90 Cath Tizard was Her Worship the Mayor of Auckland. (b. 1931-)


1999- Deputy Governor General, Rt. Hon the Chief Justice Dame Sian Seerpoohi Elias
2001 Administrator of the Government (Acting Governor General) (22.03-04.04)
2006 Administrator of the Government (Acting Governor General) (04.08-23.08)
2011 Administrator of the Government (Acting Governor General) (23.08-31.08) 
2016 Administrator of the Government (Acting Governor General) (31.08-28.09)
As Chief Justice of New Zealand she is the first deputy of the Governor General and acts in his/her place when he/she is abroad or otherwise incapacitated.

Governor-General, Commander-in-Chief and President of the Executive Council Dame Silvia Cartwright (4/4-4/8)
In 1989 she became the first female Chief Justice of a District Court and in 1993 the first woman in the Supreme Court. (b. 1943-)


Circa 2006- Chairperson Naida Glavish, of the Kaipara-based iwi Ngati Whatua Tribe

2002- Assistant Deputy Governor General Rt. Hon. Justice Susan Glazebrook

As second ranking Judge of Court of Appeal, she is third  in succession to the Governor General

2016- Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy
Lawyer, Chairperson of the New Zealand Film Commission involved in a number of non-governmental organisations, particularly in the arts and gender equality. Married to Sir David Gascoigne. (b. 1952-).




ast update 28.09.16