Some very special guests at Government House tonight for the annual dinner for Members of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ). The order is the highest honour that can be awarded to a New Zealander and it is a privilege to host people whose outstanding contributions have been recognised in this way.
This evening Dame Patsy and Sir David held a reception for the 2018 Rhodes Scholarship finalists. The eight finalists, Joel Bateman, Mattea Mrkusic, Rosie Collins, James Ranstead, Johann Go, Michelle Huang, Lucy McLean and Isobel Campbell, will be interviewed by the selection committee tomorrow but this evening was a chance for them to meet the committee and their fellow finalists informally. Good luck everyone!
Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a lunch for departing Heads of Mission at Government House on Wednesday. Congratulations to NZ High Commissioner to Malaysia, Mr Hunter Nottage; NZ High Commissioner to Singapore, Ms Joanne Tyndall; NZ High Commissioner to Rarotonga, Ms Tessa Temata and NZ Ambassador to Egypt, Mr Greg Lewis on their new postings.
Today Dame Patsy and Sir David received a farewell call from Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral John Martin and Sue Martin. After being mysteriously cropped out of yesterday's photo, Coco was back in the frame alongside ADCs LT Emily Keat and LT Caitlin Wiseman.
Yesterday, Dame Patsy officiated at the Armistice Day National Ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The peace bell tolled, the crowd joined in two minutes' silence, then stunning dance, music and song evoked the jubilation, relief and sorrow our forebears experienced in November 1918.
Later that day, Dame Patsy and Sir David returned to Pukeahu for a Sunset Ceremony. The ceremony included the final Last Post of the WW100 commemorations. The NZDF has been conducting a daily Last Post at Pukeahu every evening since Anzac Day 2015.
On Tuesday, Dame Patsy and Sir David laid a wreath at the New Zealand Memorial at Hyde Park Corner, accompanied by New Zealand's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, HE Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, our previous Governor-General.
The Memorial, named Southern Stand, was made by New Zealand sculptor Paul Dibble, whose First World War commemorative sculpture for Featherston will be unveiled this Saturday.
On Monday, Dame Patsy and Sir David had a busy day in Oxford, where they met up with our Rhodes Scholars and caught up with their news about their studies and their plans for the future. A fascinating visit to the Bodleian Library including opportunities to see rare maps and letters associated with New Zealand, along with items associated with the suffragette movement. UK women did not win the right to vote until 1918, 25 years after New Zealand led the world in women's suffrage. Today, special commemorations are being held in the UK Parliament to mark that important milestone.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex received an enthusiastic welcome from New Zealanders during their recent four day visit. We've put together a selection of images by photographer Mark Tantrum that tell the story of their time in New Zealand
The successful applicants in the Waitangi Day Garden Reception ballot have been selected and emails have been sent out. Congratulations to everyone who will be joining us at Government House in Wellington next year.
If you have not received an email (and have checked that it hasn't mistakenly ended up in your spam folder), please note that we have had a few emails bounce back. We will be getting in touch with those applicants by other means.
Dame Patsy and Sir David have been attending centennial commemorations of the liberation of Le Quesnoy by New Zealand troops in the closing days of the First World War. A special bond exists between the people of Le Quesnoy and New Zealand to this day, because the New Zealand troops chose not to use artillery, which would have resulted in destruction of the town and many civilian deaths. Instead the assault was via a ladder placed against the 17th century ramparts. Dame Patsy opened Le Jardin de la Paix, unveiled a friendship plaque and spoke at several commemorative events, including the New Zealand National Commemorative Service held 100 years to the day since the liberation of the town.
The Women in Infrastructure Network (WIN) was set up by Infrastructure New Zealand in 2016 to promote women in the sector. It now has over 1100 members in 7 chapters across New Zealand. Tonight's reception at Government House, hosted by former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, provided an opportunity to hear about efforts to get more women into leadership roles, some of the barriers women are still facing in the sector, and what WIN members themselves have said in a recent survey.
Dame Patsy and Sir David were delighted to host TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Government House at the beginning of their four day tour of New Zealand.
The North Lawn was the scene of the Ceremony of Welcome, featuring the NZDF cultural party and a tri-service Guard of Honour. Young New Zealanders from Paparangi Scout Group, Kairanga School (Feilding), Kelburn Guides and Maranatha Christian School were in attendance and the Royal couple were also treated to a fierce haka from from Hato Paora College.
Later that day, after a wreathlaying and public walkabout at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, the couple returned to Government House for calls with the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. This was followed by a reception in the Ballroom celebrating Suffrage 125.
The Duchess of Sussex gave a very well-received speech and guests also heard from New Zealand's poet laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh and singing group Le Art.
The evening finished with a kapa haka performance from Te Wharekura o Ngā Mokopuna.
A quick day trip to Christchurch today to see the new library, Turanga, and the newly restored Nurses Memorial Chapel. The chapel was erected in 1928 to honour the memory of nurses who died in the First World War and during the devastating influenza epidemic that swept through New Zealand in 1918. In particular, the chapel honours the ten nurses who died when the Marquette was torpedoed in the Aegean Sea, en route to Salonika. The chapel was built with public subscription and is considered to be a unique memorial to First World War nurses in New Zealand. The chapel suffered considerable damage during the Canterbury earthquakes, and a $2 million grant from Christchurch Council enabled the painstaking rebuild to be undertaken.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be visiting New Zealand from Sunday 28 October to Wednesday 31 October. Their four day tour will include time in Wellington, Auckland, Rotorua and the Abel Tasman National Park. You can follow the couple's activities on the Governor-General's Facebook, Instagram and twitter feeds (links in the sidebar!)
Here are the details of the Duke and Duchess's public appearances in New Zealand:
Wellington offers the first opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Their Royal Highnesses will be undertaking a public walkabout at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Wellington on Sunday October 28th between 4.45pm - 5.30pm.
Their Royal Highnesses will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and visit the newly unveiled UK War Memorial before meeting members of the public.
Triathlete Andrea Hewitt, criminal lawyer Nigel Hampton and former Private Secretary to the Queen,The Rt Hon Sir Christopher Geidt were among the 18 recipients who received their insignia in Christchurch yesterday at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand
Dame Patsy and Sir David attended a celebration at the Katherine Mansfield House and Garden marking 30 years since the opening of the House as a museum and the 130th anniversary of Katherine Mansfield's birth.
Dame Patsy had the honour of announcing that Katherine Mansfield's work has been published in Te Reo for the first time. Dr Karena Kelly, who translated Te Whare Tāre (A Doll's House), later read from the work.
The second announcement was that the House and Garden would be undergoing a redevelopment next year, with displays being refreshed, the roof being attended to and insulation and heating being installed.
56 Queen's Scout Award winners came together for an official photo with Dame Patsy and Sir David at today's ceremony at Government House. Congratulations to the recipients and to their proud parents and whanau who were their to witness their children's achievements.
This afternoon twelve deserving honour recipients were presented with their insignia for outstanding services to tourism, business, Maori, health, conservation, music, equestrian sport, children and art, the horse racing industry, the Japanese community, people with disabilities, music, and the Pacific community.
Congratulations to Sir John Rowles who receved the insignia of a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit at Government House in Auckland today. Sir John was honoured for services to entertainment and was one of 12 New Zealanders who were acknowledged, variously, for their service to Maori, the State, local government, the community, Paralympic sport, hockey, film television and media technology, the cheese industry, conservation, the Samoan community, the arts, education and Chinese culture.
Yachtsmen Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and our newest Dame, Emeritus Professor Dame Charmian O'Connor were among the 13 New Zealanders who were honoured for their contributions in education, chemistry, children's health, sailing, contemporary dance, special education, performing arts, youth, disabilities, science education, sport, Maori, philanthropy and the Asian communities at Government House in Auckland today.
The outstanding achievements, service and contributions of twelve people were recognised at this afternoon's investiture ceremony at Government House Auckland, including Robert Kerridge, ONZM, long associated with the promotion of animal welfare; Geoffrey Blanks, ONZM, who has promoted the development of live comedy performance in New Zealand; Faye Sumner, CNZM for her roles in the medical technology sector and Leanne Graham, MNZM for her achievements in the software industry.
Congratulations to the 12 amazing New Zealand women who received the insignia of their orders today at a special ceremony celebrating Suffrage 125 at Government House in Auckland.
The Topp twins and singer Jackie Clark were honoured for their services to entertainment as were those who had made a significant contribution in the areas of health, sport, education and conservation.
This afternoon Dame Patsy officially opened the 2018 Halberg Games, where 150 physically disabled and visually impaired young athletes have come together from around New Zealand to compete in 20 different sports. The Games will finish on Sunday.
The final investiture ceremony for the week included honours for media personalities Richard Griffin and Grant Nisbett, and recognition for services to swimming, lifesaving, conservation, poetry and literature, musical play therapy, Maori and education, the Tokelauan Community, dentistry, the State, and rugby and historical research. Congratulations to all sixteen recipients for their well-deserved recognition.
Pacific Island leader Dame Winnie Laban, and Flying Nun records founder Roger Shepherd were amongst the 16 New Zealanders honoured for their work and community service this morning at Government House in Wellington.
Last Saturday night, New Zealand designers gathered to honour their peers at the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards. Dame Patsy presented the top award, the John Britten Black Pin to Rik Campbell and Steve Le Marquand, whose digital design company Resn has offices in New Zealand, the Netherlands and China, and has won over 250 international awards.