David Beattie

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David Beattie

Sir David Stuart Beattie GCMG , GCVO , QSO , QC (born February 29, 1924 in Sydney , Australia , † February 4, 2001 in Upper Hutt , New Zealand ) was a lawyer, judge at the Supreme Court in New Zealand and from 1980 to 1985 the 14th Governor General of New Zealand .

Early years

David Stuart Beattie was born in Sydney , Australia in 1924 to the married couple Una Mary King and Joseph Nesbit Beattie . When he was two years old, his parents moved to New Zealand and settled in Auckland . There he attended school in the Belmont neighborhood and then graduated from Dilworth School , a private school for boys, from high school . At 17, called up for military service, he took as a sergeant (sergeant) on World War II in part and ended his military service as a second lieutenant in the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve (Volunteer Naval Reserve).


In 1950 Beattie married Norma Margaret Sarah MacDonald , daughter of a family friend of his parents. The marriage resulted in four daughters and three sons.

Professional and political career

Back in Auckland, he studied law at the University of Auckland , where he graduated in 1948. He then worked as a solicitor and barrister and gave lectures at the university where he had previously studied. He was appointed to the Queen's Counsel in 1964, became President of the Auckland District Law Society and a member of the New Zealand Law Society Council in 1965 , before being promoted to Supreme Court Justice in 1969. From 1977 to 1978 he chaired the Royal Commission on the Courts . In 1980 he was appointed the 14th Governor General of New Zealand, took office on November 6, 1980 and held it until November 10, 1985.

From 1986 to 1990 he chaired the annual festival of Arts in a different location and in 1990 became patron of the New Zealand Youth Choir . He is also committed to the sport and was temporarily President of the New Zealand Olympic Committee and President of the Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association .

David Stuart Beattie died on February 4th 2001 at the age of 77 of a heart attack in his home in Upper Hutt and was buried on February 9th 2001 in Wellington .

Controversy about his person

Shortly after taking office, a controversy arose between Beattie's wife, himself, and the government over the renovation of the Government House in Wellington after the couple discovered that NZ $ 300,000 had not been previously spent and they called for a further renovation of the house FROTH Fr iends O f T he H ouse.

The next controversy arose in 1981 when the South African Springbok rugby team toured New Zealand. Beattie was asked by a delegation of representatives from the churches, trade unions and various ethnic groups to ban the tour of the team that stood for apartheid and racism in South Africa . Beattie promised to contact the government but came into conflict with Prime Minister Robert Muldoon and his cabinet, who supported the tour. Demonstrations in front of the governor general's headquarters and conflicts on Waitangi Day did not make his term of office any easier.

One last major controversy about his person arose from the purchase of two Mercedes sedans valued at NZ $ 250,000 shortly before the end of his term of office, although legal, but heavily criticized by politicians. It was calculated that a normal worker would have to work for it for around 7½ years.



  • Gavin McLean : The Governors - New Zealand's Governors and Governors-General . Otago University Press , Dunedin 2006, ISBN 978-1-877372-25-4 , pp. 303-311 (English).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h McLean : The Governors . 2006, p.  303 .
  2. Sir David Beattie, 1924-2001 . New Zealand Low Society , accessed January 26, 2015 .
  3. a b c The Hon Sir David Stuart Beattie, GCMG, GCVO, QSO, QC . The Governor-General , accessed January 26, 2015 .
predecessor Office successor

Keith Holyoake
Governor General of New Zealand
November 6, 1980 - November 10, 1985

Paul Reeves