Please take the opportunity to share your condolences, thoughts, and tributes by emailing:
We will be collecting all of these tributes and will present them to Sir Paul Reeves' family.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write to you on the death of our Chancellor – and much-loved national taonga – Sir Paul Reeves. It can truly be said that today a mighty totara has fallen. On behalf of our Council and of you all, I have extended our deepest sympathies to Lady Beverley and the wider Reeves family.
Sir Paul was elected Chancellor of AUT in February 2005. He had enjoyed a distinguished career of public service, including ecclesiastical and vice-regal duties, earning a list of prestigious honours. Sir Paul was Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand from 1980 to 1985 and was then appointed Governor-General – a position he held until 1990. Sir Paul was the only person to have ever held both posts.
In 1991 Sir Paul became the Anglican Observer to the United Nations in New York. In 1994 he became Deputy Leader of the Commonwealth Observer group to South Africa and Chair of the Nelson Mandela Trust. He went on to chair the Fiji Constitution Review Commission from 1995 to 1996 and was the Special Representative of the Commonwealth Secretary General to Guyana from 2002 to 2006. From 2007, he was similarly involved with Fiji.
Sir Paul was admitted to the Order of New Zealand in 2007, the country’s highest honour. This was added to an already prestigious list including being made a Knight Bachelor (1985), a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (1985), a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victoria Order (1986) and the Queens' Service Order for public services (1990).
In recent times, as his ill health became apparent, Sir Paul announced that he would be cutting down his public roles, but wished to continue as our Chancellor. That desire to remain involved with AUT speaks volumes about Sir Paul’s commitment and dedication to this University – for which we are so grateful and of which we are so proud.
Sir Paul Reeves made a tremendous contribution to the standing, success and spirit of AUT. Personally, I found his support and leadership invaluable and his passing leaves not a hole but a chasm. Sir Paul will be deeply and keenly missed by the community of AUT and by the nation as a whole.
Further information will be provided over the coming days, on opportunities to participate in AUT remembrance activities.