Sir Paul Reeves, a former archbishop of this church, is stepping back from most aspects of public life following a diagnosis of cancer.
This will allow him to focus on the health issues and to spend more time with Lady Reeves and his family.
Sir Paul, 78, asks for privacy for him and his family.
Sir Paul was Archbishop and Primate of New Zealand from 1980-85, and the fifteenth Governor-General of New Zealand from November 1985 to November 1990.
He also chaired the Fiji Constitution Review Commission between 1995 and 1997.
In 2007 he was admitted to the Order of New Zealand, this country's highest honour.
He is the current Chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology.
Bishop Philip Richardson (of Taranaki), a longtime friend, said today Sir Paul wished to have privacy around the kind of cancer and his treatment.
"Sir Paul has always been absolutely strong and continues to be so," Bishop Philip said. "He has always had an amazingly strong family and it continues to be so."
Bishop Philip said Sir Paul was at home with his family, but was still maintaining some commitments.
"He is committed to his role as Chancellor of Auckland University of Technology, although he will inevitably have to step back from some elements of that role in time."
The Rev Jayson Rhodes
Ph 021 661319