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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • The State Memorial Service for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

    “She showed us that though our lives can sometimes feel at the mercy of immense and indifferent forces, what matters most remains always within our control: the small acts of goodness and generosity we perform each day.”


    This reflection on the life of Queen Elizabeth II was part of Dame Cindy’s address at the State Memorial Service today, held at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul. Members of Parliament, former Governors-General, former Prime Ministers and representatives from the Realm of New Zealand were among those present at the Memorial, which commemorated Elizabeth II’s 70 years as Queen of New Zealand.

    Members of the New Zealand Defence Force marched the Queen's Personal Flag and the Queen's Colours into the Cathedral, and the Sovereign's Collar of the New Zealand Order of Merit was placed on the Table of Remembrance. The Prime Minister gave a historical reading, detailing Her Majesty's first visit to New Zealand as our Queen. 

    Dame Cindy's full address can be found here.

    More photos.

    Candles are lit on the Table of Remembrance

  • The State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II

    Dame Cindy Kiro, Dr Richard Davies, Jacinda Ardern, Clarke Gayford, Shannon Austin

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies travelled to the United Kingdom with the New Zealand delegation to attend the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Dame Cindy was the first to sign the condolence book at Lancaster House, which was signed by leaders from around the world who also attended the funeral.

    While in the UK, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies attended two receptions at the New Zealand High Commission: one with members of the New Zealand Defence Force, and another with representatives from the New Zealand delegation. The delegation consists of some truly outstanding New Zealanders, including the newest Members of the Order of New Zealand - Dame Silvia Cartwright and Sir Tipene O’Regan.    

    Dame Cindy Kiro and King Charles III
    Senior members of the Royal family invited Governors-General from around the Commonwealth to a luncheon at Buckingham Palace.

    On the 19th of September, the New Zealand delegation joined others from around the world at Westminster Abbey for the funeral of the late monarch, followed by a Committal Service at Windsor Castle.

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  • Wellington Investiture 21 September 2022 PM

    For the final Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours investiture ceremony at Government House Wellington, nine recipients received their insignia. Maha Galal received an MNZM for services to the Muslim community. Among her many advocacy roles, she supported those affected by the 15th of March terrorist attack, and works with Christchurch Resettlement Services. Professor Jacinta Ruru was recognised for her contributions to Māori and the law. She is a law lecturer at the University of Otago, specialising in Tikanga Māori and Indigenous laws. She was one of the first wāhine Māori elected Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

    Congratulations to all of the recipients who have come to Wellington for their investiture, and many thanks to Hon Dame Susan Glazebrook and the Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann for presiding over these very special ceremonies.

    Mr Simon Manning, QSO, of Paraparaumu, for services to funeral services and disaster victim identification

    You can find more images from this afternoon's ceremony here.

  • Wellington Investitures 21st September 2022 AM

    Nine recipients were welcomed to Government House this morning for their investiture ceremony, including Dame Judy McGregor, who was acknowledged for her services to human rights and health. Dame Judy has worked with human rights institutions internationally, including in Nepal, Jordan and Palestine. She was the first Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner for the NZ Human Rights Commission, serving two terms in that role. Her report on working conditions in the aged care industry contributed to several reforms in that sector.  

    Dr Bryan Betty received an ONZM for services to health. Dr Betty has been a strong advocate for health equality issues, particularly surrounding rheumatic fever and Type 2 Diabetes. During the pandemic, Dr Betty has been part of the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group.

    Glenise Day received a QSM for her services to the Chatham Islands community, where she is closely involved with the Chatham Islands Health Centre, and volunteers also with St John.

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    Dame Helen Winkelmann and Dame Judy McGregor, of Auckland, DNZM for services to human rights and health
  • Wellington Investitures September 20th 2022 PM

    Chief Justice, the Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann, presided over investitures this afternoon as the Administrator of the Government. Dame Helen welcomed nine recipients to Government House, including Lorraine Scanlon, who is chair of the National Council of Victim Support. In over 20 years with the organisation, Mrs Scanlon has supported people affected by many major events including the recent flooding in Westport and the 15th of March terrorist attack.
    Dr Ian Hawes received the New Zealand Antarctic Medal for services to Antarctic science and conservation. Dr Hawes specialises in biodiversity and ecosystem function of inland and costal waters, and has 107 publications on Antarctic ecosystems. Congratulations to all this afternoon’s recipients.

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    Mrs Jenny Gordon, Dame Helen Winkelmann

  • Wellington Investitures 20th September 2022 AM

    Among this morning’s ten investiture recipients, Revered Jon Hartley received a QSO, recognising his services to governance and the community. Revered Hartley was chair of the Wellington City Mission board, was a trustee of World Vision New Zealand and has held governance roles at VisionFund International.  Jasmin McSweeney received an MNZM for services to the film industry, recognising her contributions to the New Zealand Film Commission. Harry and Virginia Pawsey were honoured for their advocacy for the Cave Creek Families Group. Government House is grateful for the assistance of the Administrator of the Government, Hon Dame Susan Glazebrook, who has presided over the Wellington investiture ceremonies while Dame Cindy represented New Zealand at  the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

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    Dame Susan Glazebrook and Reverend Jon Hartley, of Wellington, QSO for services to governance and the community
  • Wellington Investiture 16th September 2022 PM

    For this week’s final investiture, eleven recipients were honoured at Government House Wellington. Former Children’s Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft, received a QSO for services to the judiciary, children and youth. Judge Becroft contributed to the development of the Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018, and co-founded the Māngere Community Law Centre which provides open access to justice in South Auckland.

    Denise Messiter received an ONZM for services to Māori and health. She has helped establish several health and wellbeing initiatives like Te Whāriki Manawāhine o Hauraki Māori Women’s Refuge, Hauraki Housing Network and the Pātaka Kai food rescue service.

    Three recipients from New Zealand Police were also honoured this afternoon, including Detective Inspector Dave de Lange, who has spent 25 years with the Criminal Investigation Branch.

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  • Wellington Investiture 16 September 2022 AM

    This morning, the Administrator of the Government Dame Susan Glazebrook welcomed nine outstanding New Zealanders for their investiture at Government House. Among them were four recipients who were recognised for their contributions to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the community. Hai Nguyen received an MNZM for services to refugees and the Vietnamese community. He was among the first Vietnamese refugees who came to Aotearoa after the fall of Saigon, and has since worked to help other refugees in New Zealand. Karel Witten-Hannah received a QSM for his contributions to the community, which include involvement with Surf Life Saving, St John, Civil Defence and the Rural Fire Brigade.

    Mr Hai Nguyen, MNZM, of Upper Hutt, for services to refugees and the Vietnamese community

    You can find more images from this morning's ceremony here.

  • Investiture Ceremony 15 September 2022 pm

    Ten people were invested with their honours at Government House today and were acknowledged for their outstanding services across diverse fields, including governance, agricultural science, health, business, music, journalism, wildlife conservation, traffic and road safety, as well as  the many and varied contributions they make to their communities.

     

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  • Wellington Investitures 15th September 2022 AM

    Aotearoa New Zealand’s most capped Silver Ferns Coach, Dame Ruth Aitken, was presented with her DNZM at Government House this morning. Dame Ruth coached our national netball team from 2002 to 2011, helping them win a World Netball Championship and two Commonwealth Games gold medals. Four-time Golden Shears champion John Kirkpatrick received an ONZM in recognition of his contributions to shearing sports. Over the past 26 years, Mr Kirkpatrick has achieved 211 individual wins.
    Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse both received their MNZM for services to the community and occupational health and safety. The pair are founding members of the Stand With Pike Families Reference Group, which represents the majority of the families of the 29 miners who lost their lives in the Pike River tragedy 12 years ago.

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    Ms Gaylene Te Rauna, Dame Susan Glazebrook

  • Investiture Ceremony 14 September 2021 am

    This morning the Administrator of the Government, Dame Susan Glazebrook presented insignia to a further ten recipients of some of the last New Zealand Royal Honours to be approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Sir Hugh Rennie received the accolade of a Knight for his significant contributions across business, law, governance and the community. Mrs Marama Tuuta, MNZM was acknowledged for her work in education and on behalf of Ngati Kahungunu Ki Wairarapa. Les Lehi Tenise Atoni, MNZM was acknowledged for his work for the Tokelauan community. Expert Raranga exponent Mrs Wini Solomon received her QSM for services to Maori culture and heritage, and Mrs Vivien Morton received her QSM for her work with Plunket.

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  • Investiture Ceremony 13 September 2022pm

    This afternoon at Government House, Dame Susan Glazebrook, the Administrator of the Government invested ten Honour recipients with their insignia. They hailed from Auckland in the North to Bluff in the deep South and all have made wonderful contributions across diverse fields of endeavour. Dame Carolyn Henwood received her DNZM in recognition of her services to the State, youth and arts. Ms Hinerangi Edwards received her ONZM for services to Maori, governance and education, and Dr Theron's ONZM acknowledged her services to science and the community.

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    Dame Susan Glazebrook and Dame Carolyn Henwood
  • Wellington Investitures 13th September 2022 AM

    In a very fitting start to Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, three wāhine toa were among the 11 recipients welcomed to Government House for their investitures this morning. Champion canoe racer Lisa Carrington received her Damehood, producer Chelsea Winstanley received an ONZM and Libby Hakaria received an MNZM for her contributions to the film and media industries.

    After her successes at the Tokyo Olympics, Dame Lisa became New Zealand's most decorated Olympian, with a six medals throughout her career to date, five of those being gold medals.

    Chelsea Winstanley has recently produced three te reo versions of Disney classics; Moana, Lion King and the soon to be released Frozen. Libby Hakaria launched the Māoriland Film Festival – the largest indigenous film festival in the Southern Hemisphere.

    As Dame Cindy is travelling to the United Kingdom for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the Hon Dame Susan Glazebrook, the Administrator of the Government, presided over these investitures.

    Image Gallery

    Dame Lisa Carrington, of Auckland, DNZM for services to canoe racing
  • Proclamation of Accession ceremony for HM King Charles III

    “And so, on this momentous day, let us gathered here do as our forebears did those seventy years ago: let us join together in reflection and gratitude, and let us look forward to the reign of our new Sovereign, and this new chapter in our nation’s history”.

    Dame Cindy addressed the crowd gathered at the steps of Parliament for the Proclamation of Accession ceremony, which acknowledged His Majesty King Charles III as King of New Zealand. The Proclamation was read in English by New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary Phillip O’Shea, and in te reo by Parliamentary Kaumātua Kura Moeahu. Before the ceremony, a special meeting of the Executive Council was held to make an Order in Council proclaiming the accession of our new Sovereign.

    You can read Dame Cindy's speech here.

    More photos of the ceremony.

    The official party lines the steps of Parliament, as Phillip O'Shea reads the Proclamation

     

  • Adecco Paralympics New Zealand Gala Dinner

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies attended the Adecco Paralympics New Zealand Gala Dinner 2022, held in Auckland. This evening showcased para sport in New Zealand, and celebrated the success of our para athletes who competed at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics, the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

    Among the para athletes attending the dinner were swimmers Jesse Reynolds and Dame Sophie Pascoe, who Their Excellencies saw win medals in Birmingham earlier this year.

    More photos

    Dame Cindy's speech

    Dame Cindy Kiro, Dr Richard Davies and Hon Poto Williams
    Credit - Paralympics New Zealand

      

  • Auckland Investiture 1 September 2022 AM

    For Auckland’s final Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee 2022 Honours investitures, eight recipients were welcomes to Government House to receive their insignia. Today, Tangihaere Harihari-Hughes was awarded an ONZM for her extensive work with the New Zealand Māori Wardens Association, Māori Women’s Welfare League and many other organisations.

    Also recognised were John and Sandra Wyatt, who received QSMs for their work in their community of Kaikoura. Following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, they helped save the badly damaged community theatre from demolition. The newly restored Mayfair Arts and Culture Centre was opened again in 2020. Congratulations to all of this morning’s recipients.

    Image Gallery

  • Auckland Investiture 31 August 2022 PM

    Investiture ceremonies continued this afternoon at Government House Auckland, with seven further recipients acknowledged for their outstanding service and contributions across New Zealand communities. Ms Julie Read received her insignia as a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, for services to the state as the first woman appointed Director and Chief Executive of the Serious Fraud Office.

    Mr Matahi Brightwell received his insignia as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to Waka Ama, having founded New Zealand’s first Waka Ama Club, the Mareikura Canoe Club, and serving as first president to the national body. Sincere congratulations to all of this afternoon’s recipients.

    Ms Julie Read, QSO, of Auckland, for services to the State

    You can find more images from this afternoon's ceremony here.

     

  • Auckland Investiture 31 August 2022 AM

    Eight recipients received their insignia at Government House Auckland this morning, including Margareth Broodkoorn, from Haruru. Margareth has spent over 30 years in nursing in New Zealand, working with Māori heath providers and mentoring nurses across Aotearoa. She was also the first wāhine Māori appointed Chief Nursing Officer with the Ministry of Health.

    Emma Twigg was also recognised for her outstanding 20-year rowing career. Among her many achievements, she has competed in four Olympic games, won a World Championship, been named World Female Rower of the Year, and last year won Gold the Tokyo Olympics.

    Mrs Emma Twigg, MNZM, of Cambridge, for services to rowing

    You can find more images from this morning's ceremony here.

  • Auckland Investiture 30 August 2022 PM

    Eight further recipients received their insignia this afternoon, including Dr Hilary Blacklock, who received an ONZM for services to haematology. Dr Blacklock helped to establish the New Zealand Bone Marrow Donor Registry in 1996 and has also served as Medical Director. Through this registry, around 13,000 volunteer stem cell donors have become part of a world-wide network of other donors, who have helped 146 life-saving transplants occur in Aotearoa.

    Also among those recognised this afternoon was Dr Graeme Woodfield, for services to transfusion medicine; Marjet Pot, for her contributions to women’s health in New Zealand; and Dr Mai Tamimi for her work supporting Middle Eastern and refugee communities. Congratulations to all of today’s recipients.

    Dr Graeme Woodfield, CNZM, of Hamilton, for services to transfusion medicine

    You can find more images from this afternoon's ceremony here.

  • Auckland Investiture 30 August 2022 AM

    At this morning’s investiture ceremony, one of New Zealand’s greatest-ever rugby league players received a CNZM for services to the sport. Over 18 years, Benji Marshall played 346 NRL games – the most of any New Zealand player. He was also part of the Kiwis team who won the Rugby League World Cup in 2008, which remains the only time our national team has won the trophy.

    Also among those recognised was Ladi6, receiving an MNZM acknowledging her 20-year career in music. During this time, she has released three albums and has won multiple awards including the prestigious Taite Music Prize, which is awarded to the best New Zealand album of the year.

    You can find more images from this morning's ceremony here.

  • Investiture Ceremonies 26 August 2022

    Today at Government House Auckland, Dame Cindy presented insignia to fourteen Honours recipients, including Sir Collin Tukuitonga, KNZM, who was recognised for his distinguished career in public health and the public service, and Dr Miriam Saphira, long-time advocate for the LBBTQIA+ community. Further information about all the recipients can be found in the image galleries.

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  • Investiture Ceremonies 25 August 2022

    Today at Government House Auckland, Dame Cindy conferred insignia on fourteen Honour recipients who were recognised for their service, achievements and contributions to their communities. They included internationally renowned New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana, CNZM; Olympic Gold Medal rowers, Grace Prendergast, MNZM and Kerry Williams, MNZM; and Mr Ted Manson, who received a CNZM for his services to philanthropy, urban development and business. 

    Image Gallery

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  • Confirmation of the new Speaker of the House of Representatives

    On Wednesday afternoon, Dame Cindy held a very special ceremony at Government House Wellington confirming Rt Hon Adrian Rurawhe as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rt Hon Adrian Rurawhe had been Deputy Speaker since 2020, and is now the second Speaker of Māori decent – the first being Sir Peter Tapsell who was elected in 1993. This ceremony was particularly significant, being the first time that the Speaker has been confirmed in both English and te reo.

    Rt Hon Adrian Ruawhe receiving his confirmation letter from Dame Cindy

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Visit to Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae

    Dame Cindy Kiro with Joe Harawira, Bobby Newson and Taini Drummond
    The rain might have been pouring down, but the welcome was warm when Dame Cindy visited the amazing team at Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae, who have been providing a solution to food insecurity and sustaining the community of South Auckland for almost 40 years.

    The urban Marae was established by Māori Women’s Welfare League member Mere Knight on a hectare of council land in Māngere. Today, the Marae also delivers educational programmes to foster te reo and to strengthen cultural capacity. To do this, they have partnered with Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, and plan to increase the number of programmes they can provide.

    The marae combines traditional Māori values, tikanga and te reo in the creation and maintenance of their extensive organic gardens. The food they produce directly benefits their community, and encourages healthy eating. 

    Workers distribute fish heads to waiting patrons
    The marae runs a food bank, utilising the produce they grow on site. The covid 19 pandemic saw a huge spike in demand for this service, as tens of thousands of people were suddenly unable to work. Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae extended manaakitanga to families affected by the pandemic through thousands of food parcels, and by working with top Auckland restaurants to distribute food throughout the city. Currently, they give out up to 100 food boxes a week, also delivering to people in isolation. 

    While there, Dame Cindy got to sample the famous Papatūānuku burgers and to see the Kai Ika program in action – a kaupapa that redistributes fish heads donated by local fisheries to people in need, giving around 500kgs away every second day. This kaupapa lives by the whakatauki “he kai te rongoa, he rongoa te kai” (food is medicine, medicine is food). To learn more about Kai Ika and how you can help, head to their website

    More photos
     

  • Whānau Āwhina Plunket event in honour of outgoing CE Amanda Malu

    As Patron of Whānau Āwhina Plunket, Dame Cindy joined members of their organisation to farewell outgoing Chief Executive, Amanda Malu, who held the role for six years. Among Amanda's achievements during her time with the infant/tamariki health service was her work leading Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s transformation to become a more pro-equity organisation. She was also involved in reclaiming the story of two wāhine toa, Mere Harper and Ria Tikini (Kāi Tahu and Kāti Huirapa), who were instrumental in the foundation of Whānau Āwhina Plunket over 100 years ago.

    In her speech, Dame Cindy also acknowledged organisation's namesake, Lady Victoria Plunket, and the role she played in the early days of Plunket's beginnings. You can read the speech here.

    More photos.

    Dame Cindy Kiro, Amanda Malu

  • New Zealand Riding for the Disabled

    This morning at Government House Auckland, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies hosted a morning tea in celebration of New Zealand Riding for the Disabled’s 60th anniversary.

    NZRDA aims to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for people who are experiencing disability, or who have specific challenges or needs, through interaction with horses. NZRDA caters to around 3,000 riders annually – eighty per cent being children or teenagers.

    Dame Cindy hearing from one of the riders

    You can read Dame Cindy's speech from the event here, and find more images here.

  • Credentials Ceremonies 10 August 2022

    Today the rain held off long enought for Government House to offer our full outdoor credential ceremonies, including powhiri and an inspection of a Guard of Honour. Dame Cindy received the credentials of six new diplomatic envoys to New Zealand. This morning, Dame Cindy hosted HE Mr Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, High Commissioner for the Republic of Fiji;  HE Mr Feue Tipu, High Commissioner for Tuvalu; and HE Ms Iona Thomas, High Commissioner for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This afternoon it was the turn of HE Mr Adrianus Marinus Maria van der Vorst, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; HE Mr Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Ambassador of Ukraine; and HE Mr Werner Matias Romero Guerra, Ambassador of the Republic of El Salvador.

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  • Opening of Youth Parliament 2022

    This morning at the Beehive, Dame Cindy officially opened Youth Parliament 2022. Held every three years, Youth Parliament provides a unique opportunity for a diverse group of young New Zealanders to learn first-hand about New Zealand's democratic processes, influence government decision-making, and have their voices heard. Selected rangatahi represent their community, as either a Youth Member of Parliament, member of the Youth Press Gallery, or, this year, as the very first Youth Clerk of the House of Representatives.

    Dame Cindy and the Prime Minister with the gathered Youth MPs

    You can read Dame Cindy's speech here, and find more images from the event here.

  • Christchurch Investiture 7 July 2022 PM

    Thursday afternoon saw the final investiture ceremony held in Christchurch, with Dame Cindy presenting insignia to seven further Honours recipients. Among them was Christine Lake, honoured for over 20 years with New Zealand’s largest health and wellbeing support service for young children – the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society. During her time with Plunket, Ms Lake helped to guide the organisation through significant change, including the recent re-brand to Whānau Āwhina Plunket. Also recognised was former cricket international Janice Steed, and Diana Reid, who helped to establish the Malvern Cancer Support Group in Darfield in 1983. Congratulations to all of this afternoon’s recipients.

    Mrs Christine Lake, CNZM, of Christchurch, for services to Plunket

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Christchurch Investiture 7 July 2022 AM

    Christchurch investiture ceremonies continued this morning at the Town Hall, with seven further recipients honoured for their outstanding work across New Zealand. Professor John Simpson received his insignia for services to art education – serving as the head of the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts for more than 30 years, and driving a modernisation of the school's courses and teaching. Ms Laura Thompson also received her insignia as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her work as a sighted pilot for Para-cyclists – a competing career that included 10 world championship and five Paralympic medals.

    Professor John Simpson, ONZM, of Christchurch, for services to art education

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Christchurch Investiture 6 July 2022 PM

    Dame Cindy presented insignia to six Honours recipients this afternoon at the Christchurch Town Hall. Dr Michael Dunbier was acknowledged for services to agricultural science, including as Director of DSIR Crop Research, and foundation CEO of the New Zealand Institute for Crop and Food Research Ltd. Francis and Shireen Helps were also acknowledged for services to wildlife conservation, particularly in their support of kororā (little penguins) and hoiho (yellow eyed penguins). Sincere congratulations to all of this afternoon's recipients.

    Dr Michael Dunbier, CNMZ, of Christchurch, for services to agricultural science

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • New Zealand Bravery Awards

    This afternoon at the Christchurch Town Hall, Dame Cindy hosted the New Zealand Bravery Awards, acknowledging those who exhibited such extraordinary courage at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre on 15th March 2019. The family of the late Dr Naeem Rashid, who lost his life that day, accepted the insignia of the New Zealand Cross on his behalf. Each of today's Bravery Award recipients helped to save the lives of others, and they have earned the deepest respect and admiration of all New Zealanders.

    The late Dr Naeem Rashid, NZC, for an act of great bravery in a situation of extreme danger

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

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