Governor-General's New Year Message

1 Jan 2012

Kia ora.  Nga mihi o te tau hou.   Greetings to you all, for the New Year.  It’s an honour as Governor-General, and representative of Her Majesty the Queen of New Zealand, to give my first New Year message.

The start of the year is a time when most of us take a break, catch up with family and friends and enjoy the long summer days.  It’s also a time when we reflect on the year that was and look forward to the year ahead.  

The last year has been difficult.  The loss of life from the earthquake on 22 February, like the Pike River Mine disaster in November 2010, reminded us that life is precious.  When the container vessel Rena went aground near Tauranga, we were reminded that protecting our pristine environment is also important to us.   As a nation where the roots of family, neighbourhood and community run far and deep, these events touched us all.  

While we remember these terrible events, we should not forget all that we have achieved.   It was superb, for example, that the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup, giving us something to celebrate.  Even more fantastic was the way we made the tournament our own, embracing the notion of a stadium of 4 million people.

Our response to the good and to the sad times has galvanised my belief in New Zealanders.  I have seen New Zealanders repeatedly demonstrating the values we all cherish.  I have seen compassion, warmth, tolerance and a strong sense of community, where everyone is prepared to get stuck in and help friends and strangers alike.   And I have been impressed by the ingenuity, talent and innovation demonstrated by our young people and leaders in many diverse fields.  

We do not know with any certainly what lies in store for us in 2012.  There are events like Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Games and other commemorative events to acknowledge.  There will also be other occasions to celebrate our heritage, our way of life and our aspirations for the future.  Undoubtedly, there will also be occasions where we will need to comfort our fellow New Zealanders and again demonstrate our resolve.

Building a better future for our tamariki and mokopuna, requires us to draw on the storehouse of New Zealand’s strengths.  Our values and our people have served us well in the past, and will do so in the future.  I intend to work to serve New Zealanders, bringing people together, promoting what is important to us, and celebrating excellence.   Most importantly, I urge you keep before you the sentiment of the proverb:  “He aha te mea nui o te ao—What is the most important thing in the world?  The answer is: he tangata, he tangata, he tangata––it is people, it is people, it is people!”

Thank you and I wish you all a happy and safe summer holiday and a successful 2012. 

Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, GNZM QSO
Governor-General of New Zealand

Back to Features

Tours of Government House Wellington for the public, schools and community groups are being offered, starting in the New Visitor Centre.

Find out more.

Features

  • The Governor-General and Government Formation After the Election
  • Government House Recipes - Orange and Olive Oil Syrup Cake
  • New Year message - 2014
    Governor-General's 2014 New Year message
  • New Year Honours 2014
    Queen honours New Zealand's best
  • Nelson Mandela
    Governor-General pays tribute to South African leader
  • Niue and the Cook Islands
    Visits reaffirm special relationships within the Realm of New Zealand
  • Badge of the General Fono of Tokelau
    Governor-General hosts ceremony at Government House
  • Leadership Week
    Governor-General leads the Sir Peter Blake Trust Dream Team
  • Matariki 2013
    Governor-General recognises the contribution of women
  • Coronation Diamond Jubilee
    The Governor-General looks back at the Queen's 1953 Coronation
  • AIDS Candlelight Memorial
    Message from the Governor-General
  • South Canterbury and North Otago Regional Visit
    20-23 February: An overview
  • Waitangi Day - 2013
    Governor-General and Lady Janine visit Waitangi and Auckland
  • New Year Message 2013
    Governor-General issues his 2013 New Year message
  • New Year Honours 2013
    New Zealanders recognised by The Queen of New Zealand
  • Birthday cake
    Secrets of Government House birthday cake revealed
  • Diamond Jubilee visit
    Royal couple to visit Auckland, Wellington, Manawatu and Christchurch
  • Royal reception
    Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall prepare for trip to downunder
  • New Zealand's Governor-General
    Government House publishes new booklet
  • 2012 London Olympic Games
    The Governor-General supports the NZ Olympic Team in London
  • Diamond Jubilee message
    The Governor-General's Diamond Jubilee message
  • Open to view - credentials ceremonies
    Watch the video of a credentials ceremony at Government House
  • Western Bay of Plenty regional visit
    The Governor-General makes his first official visit.
  • Open Days 2014
    Government House Open Days 2014
  • Christchurch and Canterbury Earthquake Anniversary
    The Governor-General's Programme
  • Waitangi Celebrations 2012
    The Governor-General's first Waitangi Day Programme
  • Governor-General's New Year Message
    Sir Jerry Mateparae issues his 1st New Year message - watch the video
  • State Opening of Parliament
    Governor-General announces the Government's plans
  • Speaker-elect confirmation ceremony
    Dr Smith confirmed as Speaker of the House
  • Appointment of the new Government
    The Governor-General appoints the new Government
  • Queen's Diamond Jubilee Emblem
    New emblem to mark the Diamond Jubilee
  • Rugby World Cup
    Message from the Queen of New Zealand on the All Blacks' victory
  • State Swearing-in of Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae
    A Government House short film
  • Royal NZ Navy 70th Anniversary
    The Governor-General hosted and attended associated events
  • New Zealand Gallantry Awards
    Government House has today issued a special honours list
  • One year on from the 4 September 2010 Canterbury earthquake
    Governor-General issues a message
  • Swearing in ceremony
    Sir Jerry Mateparae to become NZ's 20th Governor-General
  • Sir Paul Reeves
    New Zealand's first Governor-General of Maori descent dies
  • Visit by King George Tupou V of Tonga
    The Governor-General hosted a State Welcome for the King of Tonga
  • Māori King visits Government House
    The King plants a tree to mark the visit
  • Matariki
    The Governor-General's 2011 Matariki Message
  • The Royal Wedding
    Sir Anand and Lady Susan attended the Royal Wedding on 29 April
  • ANZAC Day message
    The Governor-General's message for ANZAC Day commemorations
  • The National Christchurch Memorial Service
    Details and photos are available here.
  • Christchurch Earthquake
    Governor-General offers the support of all New Zealanders
  • Canterbury earthquake
    World leaders send messages of support to New Zealand
  • Waitangi Day 2011
    Sir Anand Satyanand's last Waitangi Day as Governor-General
  • New Year Message
    Governor-General issues his message for 2011
  • Pike River Mine Tragedy
    World leaders send messages of support to New Zealand
  • Governor-General visits Canterbury
    A visit to support and encourage those affected by the earthquake
  • New Year Message
    Governor-General issues his message for 2010
  • Governor-General's 2009 New Year Message
    New Zealanders urged to volunteer