Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to announce next Governor-General as Dame Patsy Reddy's term nears end

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to announce the 22nd Governor-General of New Zealand, as the incumbent Dame Patsy Reddy's term nears its end. 

Dame Patsy, the third woman in New Zealand to hold the role of Governor-General, was appointed in 2016 for a five-year term starting from September that year, after Queen Elizabeth II gave her approval. 

The position of Governor-General is selected by Cabinet. The Queen is consulted by the Prime Minister, and if she is happy with the candidate, the Opposition leader - currently Judith Collins - is consulted, and the recruitment process concludes. 

It hasn't always been this way. In the days of Empire, Britain appointed New Zealand's Governor-General, or the 'Governor', as it was called before 1917. In the early days of British settlement when there was no New Zealand Government, we had no say in the matter. 

Even after New Zealand politicians got the right to govern themselves, in 1856, they still had no say - not until the early 1900s when Britain started preparing a short list of Crown-approved candidates, which the New Zealand Prime Minister could choose from. 

It wasn't until 1945, under the leadership of Labour Prime Minister Peter Fraser, that New Zealand put forward the name of wartime leader Sir Bernard Freyberg to be Governor-General. Since 1972, all have been New Zealand residents. 

The Governor-General acts as the Queen's representative in New Zealand, a ceremonial position often referred to as the de facto head of state. The Governor-General appoints and dismisses ministers, but only on the Prime Minister's advice.

Each parliamentary term begins with the Governor-General summoning in the new Parliament. The role also includes hosting events at Government House in Wellington, travelling throughout New Zealand to open conferences, and attend services and commemorations.

The role is often given to accomplished Kiwis. Prior to becoming Governor-General, Dame Patsy had a career in law, business and the public sector. She was made a Dame in 2014 for services to arts and business. 

Former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters was rumoured to be a suitable candidate for the role, but Ardern ruled it out at Waitangi earlier this year

Dame Patsy told The AM Show in December the Queen loves hearing "gossip" from New Zealand but rarely supplies any of her own. She also recently called for wider understanding of history amid debate over whether to remove colonial statues.