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Lieutenant-General Jerry Mateparae is the people's choice for the next Governor-General, according to a poll by the Republican Movement.

Mateparae, who got 34 per cent of almost 1450 votes cast, has spent the past five years as the head of the New Zealand Defence Force.

He takes over as the new director of the Government Communications Security Bureau tomorrow after 38 years of military service.

Auckland scientist, inventor and social entrepreneur Ray Avery, 62, came second with 16 per cent of the votes. Next were Mad Butcher Sir Peter Leitch and Jim Bolger.

The role is currently held by Sir Anand Satyanand but a replacement is due to be appointed this year.

The poll was part of the movement's campaign for Parliament to open the selection up to New Zealanders, as a step towards a republic.