Waitangi Celebrations 2012

9 Feb 2012

The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, and Lady Janine Mateparae, celebrated their first Waitangi Day as a vice-regal couple in 2012. 

A citizenship ceremony at Government House in Wellington was a feature of the Waitangi Day programme.

At the citizenship ceremony 24 people became New Zealand citizens.  They included people from Somalia, South Africa, Samoa, United States, Iran, Britain, Ireland, Gambia, the Philippines, Australia, Fiji, Sri Lanka, Japan, the Netherlands, China, India, Mexico, Thailand and Bulgaria.  Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown administered the oaths and affirmations of allegiance.

Sir Jerry Mateparae said: “As Waitangi Day is our national day, I could not think of a better way of recognising the contribution of ‘new New Zealanders’ to our country than to hold a citizenship ceremony to welcome them to our New Zealand family.”

Sir Jerry and Lady Janine Mateparae also attended a number of events at Kaikohe, Paihia, Waitangi, Porirua and central Wellington from Friday 3 February to Monday 6 February.  On Friday 3 February Sir Jerry and Lady Janine arrived in Northland and attended a number of events in Kaikohe with Far North Mayor Wayne Brown.
Photographs available here.

On Saturday 4 February, Sir Jerry and Lady Janine were welcomed on to Te Tii Marae at Waitangi.
Photographs available here.

On 5 February they attended a luncheon hosted by the Waitangi National Trust Board.  They then hosted the annual Bledisloe Reception at Waitangi. Photographs available here. The Governor-General then served as Reviewing Officer of the Royal New Zealand Navy Beat the Retreat ceremony. Photographs available here.

New  citizen
The Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, congratulates one of 24 new citizens.

On Waitangi Day the Governor-General and Lady Janine travelled to Wellington and attended festivities in Porirua and Wellington in the morning. 

In the afternoon, Sir Jerry hosted the citizenship ceremony followed by a garden reception at Government House Wellington, attended by a wide range of community and government guests, including members of the Diplomatic Corps.  It was the first Waitangi Day reception to be held at Government House in Wellington since 2006.  During the reception, the Governor-General gave his first annual Waitangi Day address.

As Waitangi Day is New Zealand's national day, the Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, received a number of letters of congratulations from world leaders. They included letters from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, HE Ban Ki-moon and the leaders of Timor-Leste, Greece, Egypt, Indonesia, South Africa, Bulgaria, Italy and Bahrain, among others.

Photographs from Waitangi Day events are available here.

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