Interview with Joe Walker

Date
25 Feb 2000
By
Walker, Joseph James, 1941-2009
Ref
OHInt-0642/2
Description

Joe Walker was born in Opunake in 1941. Describes being brought up by his mother and grandfather until his mother remarried Hector Walker from Rotoma, Fiji. Mentions his birth father. Talks about his brother, three sisters and a half brother. Describes education at Opunake Primary and High Schools. Recalls enjoying academic work and sport. Talks about becoming Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) in the school cadets. Describes links with Te Atiawa and Ngati Ruahine. Explains an awakening to being Maori while in the Army. Mentions have done Maori language at Victoria University, joining the hikoi and studying the Treaty of Waitangi with Donna Awatere. Mentions he was responsible for programmes including Maori at APEC.

Describes joining the Army and explains his progression through the ranks. Discusses becoming professional, becoming a leader and learning to take risks. Discusses fighting in Vietnam and attitudes to Vietnamese veterans. Mentions marrying Patsy McGowan in 1963 and her support of his life in the Army. Mentions he was Brigadier Commander at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Mentions his association with the SAS and describes studying counter terrorism in Great Britain. Discusses resigning from the military in 1990 after thirty years' service.

Describes his appointment as Comptroller of Government House in 1990. Mentions organising the changeover from Sir Paul Reeves as Governor General to Dame Catherine Tizard. Discusses the preparation of a five year plan for the Governor General. Discusses changing the culture of the role of Governor General from British to New Zealand and the need for the role to be simple and relevant to New Zealand while maintaining quality. Describes Sir Paul and Lady Reeves and functions held for the Maori community. Comments on the informal tone of Dame Catherine Tizard while maintaining her position as representative of the head of state. Describes how he put New Zealand art on the walls. Describes the position of Comptroller as Operations Manager with the Chief Secretary's position that of the Chief Executive. Mentions Ken Richardson. Discusses the relationship between the military and the Governor-General and the role of the aides de camp. Mentions that Government House had come under the the Department of Internal Affairs but now comes under the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Mentions an organisational review which structured out the office of Comptroller. Discusses the Royal Family and a number of overseas visitors including the Queen of the Netherlands, King of Malaysia, Sultans of Bahrain, Iraq and Brunei, Presidents of Croatia, Chile, Ireland and Germany and President Mandela. Mentions the Queen's visit in 1995 and the CHOGM meeting.

Discusses the relationship of the Governor-General and Jim Bolger . Mentions a security review at Government House and redevelopment of the gardens. Talks about the 25th anniversary of Robert Sisson Stretch as butler. Describes seeing Sir Michael Hardie Boys into office as Governor-General before leaving the job.

Interviewer(s) - Hugo Manson

Quantity: 4 C60 cassette(s). 1 printed abstract(s). 1 interview(s). 4 Hours Duration.

Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete OHA-3409.

Additional description

Alternative form available: Listening copies OHLC-005031 - OHLC-005034

Use/Reproduction
Requires the written permission of interviewee: Review date 25 Feb 2010 Copyright: Held by Government House
Access restrictions
Restricted - Content cannot be accessed without permission - Access requires written permission of the interviewee
Format
4 C60 cassette(s), 1 printed abstract(s), 1 interview(s), 4 Hours Duration, Oral histories
There are 5 items in total.
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There are 5 items in this group.
Date: 25 Feb 2000 From: Government House oral history project Stage II Ref: OHC-010209 Description: Quantity: 1 C60 cassette(s). Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete.
Date: 25 Feb 2000 From: Government House oral history project Stage II Ref: OHC-010210 Description: Quantity: 1 C60 cassette(s). Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete.
Date: 25 Feb 2000 From: Government House oral history project Stage II Ref: OHC-010211 Description: Quantity: 1 C60 cassette(s). Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete.
Date: 25 Feb 2002 From: Government House oral history project Stage II Ref: OHC-010212 Description: Quantity: 1 C60 cassette(s). Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete.
From: Government House oral history project Stage II Ref: OHA-3409 Description: Quantity: 1 printed abstract(s). Finding Aids: Abstract Available - abstracting complete.