Retired archbishop appointed Governor General of the Solomon Islands

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Archbishop David Vunagi exchanging greetings with a Maori elder. Photo: Anglican Taonga

Bishop David Vunagi, the former Archbishop of Melanesia, has been elected to serve as the next Governor General of the Solomon Islands. After gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1978, the Solomon Islands remained a constitutional monarchical system of government, with the Queen of England as Head of State. The Governor General is elected by the state’s National Parliament as the Queen’s personal representative on the islands. The role is largely ceremonial but the post holder does retain some reserved powers.

Bishop David was Archbishop of Melanesia from 2009 until his retirement in 2016. He returned to his village on the island of Isabel. Last year he was appointed principal of Selwyn College.

Bishop David will take on his new role during a ceremony on 7 July, when the Solomon Islands celebrates its 41st Independence Day.  He will succeed Sir Frank Kabui. Governors General of the Solomon Islands serve a five-year time which can be renewed once. A farewell service will be held at Selwyn College tomorrow (15 June).

“My wife Mary and I feel very humble about this appointment”, Bishop David said, “and we pray for wisdom as we prepare to take on this dignified position.”