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Indian judge as governor-general

Indian-origin Anand Satyanand is tipped to be the next governor-general of New Zealand.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 16:37 IST

Former ombudsman and judge Anand Satyanand is tipped to be the next governor-general of New Zealand.

According to media reports, Satyanand is the frontrunner for the post when present governor-general Dame Silvia Cartwright's term ends on Aug 4 this year.

If Satyanand gets the post, he will be the first ethnic Asian to be appointed to the post. All previous governors-general have been either of European or Maori extraction.

New Zealand's Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper has said that he has learned judge Satyanand's name will go for approval to Buckingham Palace, London, before being signed off politically and formally announced early next month.

Of Indo-Fijian descent, Satyanand was born and raised in Auckland, and studied law at Auckland University.

He worked as a legal practitioner in the 1970s for some time with the Crown solicitors office and then was a partner in an Auckland law firm specializing in court work. He became a district court judge with a specialist warrant for criminal jury trials in 1982 and spent 12 years in that role based in Palmerston North and Auckland before his appointment as an ombudsman in 1995. He served two five-year terms as ombudsman before retiring in February 2005.

He was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit last year.

People of Indian origin account for just around two per cent of New Zealand's total population of over four million.