Sir Jerry for High Commissioner 'worst-kept secret'

Sir Jerry Mateparae (File)
Sir Jerry Mateparae (File)

In an exclusive interview with Newshub, the Governor-General has revealed it "would be really nice" to be the next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

But he stopped short of saying he's got the job when Sir Lockwood Smith retires early next year, calling it speculation and a decision for the Government.

Sir Jerry Mateparae is widely tipped to be the next High Commissioner, taking over from Sir Lockwood early next year.

"It's all still speculation, but hold the thought, 'cause it would be really nice," he said. "London is a fantastic place to be."

It most certainly is, and Sir Jerry has been making a good show of it. He's been in London for the Queen's 90th birthday, celebrating and lunching with Her Majesty.

It's his last meeting with her in this role, but there may well be opportunities in the next.

"All sorts of things happen in life and all sorts of approaches are supposedly made," Sir Jerry said, vaguely.

He was also tight-lipped on what would happen should he take the role.

"Once it's formally put and the Government makes its decision and Mr McCully and I -- I haven't spoken to Mr McCully -- once that happens then we'll make a decision and make an announcement, I guess," he said.

Speaker David Carter was originally pegged for the role, but Winston Peters threatened not to work with the Government over what he called the "mainly white brorocracy".

Sir Jerry and his wife, Lady Janine, have 80 days left at Government House. They plan to take six months off, coinciding exactly with Sir Lockwood's end of term.

It's been described by one government source as the worst-kept secret, but it seems it remains that way for another day.

If Sir Jerry is to become the next High Commissioner, getting ahead of the Prime Minister with his job announcement wouldn't be the best place to start.