Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) has appointed the country's Governor-General as its new Patron, it was revealed today in an announcement timed to coincide with International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
His Excellency Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM, QSO replaces Sir Paul Holmes, the broadcaster who died in February 2013.
"I am looking forward to working with PNZ and our inspirational Para-athletes and supporting efforts to promote their participation in events at home and abroad," said Sir Jerry.
Sir Jerry, 60, is New Zealand's 20th Governor-General, the representative of Queen Elizabeth, the country's monarch, and only the second Māori person to hold the position.
He was appointed Governor-General in 2011 following a successful military career during which he rose from the rank of private to Chief of the Defence Force.
"After the passing of our former Patron and passionate Paralympic sport advocate Sir Paul Holmes last year, PNZ has been through a thorough process to identify a replacement," said Selwyn Maister, chair of PNZ.
"We are thrilled that His Excellency has accepted our invitation and look forward to his future involvement and support.
"The next few years will be a period of great change for Para-Sport in NZ and it is hugely encouraging to have His Excellency's appointment as Patron of PNZ confirmed."
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