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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • Wellington Investiture 7 December 2021 PM

    This afternoon at Government House Wellington, eight remarkable New Zealanders received their insignia, following their inclusion on the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours List. They included Mr Jack Thatcher, for his services to Māori and education, and Ms Sarah Stuart-Black, Secretary General of the New Zealand Red Cross. Recipients were also honoured for their service across sport, health, and the arts in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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    Mr Jack Thatcher, of Tauranga, CNZM, for services to Māori and education

  • Wellington Investiture Tuesday 7 December 2021

    This morning eight recipients received their insignia at Government House Wellington, including National President of the Council of Women, Vanisa Dhiru. Ms Dhiru led the NCWNZ’s Gender Equal NZ campaign, and she is also Chief Executive of Volunteering New Zealand.

    Also honoured this morning were five recipients from Fire and Emergency New Zealand, who are being recognised for their indispensable work across Aotearoa.

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    Kevin Curtis and Dame Cindy Kiro

  • Wellington Investiture 6 December 2021 PM

    This afternoon marked the beginning of the Wellington investiture ceremonies, honouring the 2021 Queen's Birthday New Zealand Honours recipients. Recipients came from right across the country – from Hastings to Geraldine. Among those receiving insignia today were Mrs Margaret Baker, for her services to the Special Olympics, and Mrs Margaret Chapman, ex-President of Rural Women New Zealand. Invesiture ceremonies will continue through until early next week.

    Mrs Margaret Baker, of Hastings, ONZM, for services to Special Olympics

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  • New Zealand Commissioning Course Graduation 2021

    After a quick trip in an NH90 helicopter, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies were welcomed onto the New Zealand Army Marae, before attending the New Zealand Commissioning Course Graduation 2021 at Waiouru Military Camp. The marae was famously carried in place by hundreds of soldiers, and is the only marae in the country to face the setting sun to signify the Army watching the backs of the nation.

    A haka outside New Zealand Army National Marae

    Following the welcome on the marae, it was time for the New Zealand Commissioning Course Graduation. The 31 cadets have completed the challenging 11 month course, which is a real test physically and mentally. Now the cadets have graduated as officers, they are on the path to become leaders within Ngāti Tūmatauenga New Zealand Army.

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    Dame Cindy Kiro presents the Sword of Honour to Elese Russell

  • BGI Challenge for Change 2021

    Yesterday evening Dame Cindy and Dr Davies honoured the 18 rangatahi who recently graduated from the BGI (Wellington Boys' and Girls' Institute) Challenge for Change programme. BGI has been helping young people of Wellington since 1883, teaching them life-skills through awesome experiences. Yesterday’s graduates from Challenge for Change have completed a year-long partnership with their mentors, and spoke about what they learned in the programme. One mentee, Zion, gave his first-ever live performance on the guitar, playing a classic from Green Day.   

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    Dame Cindy Kiro and Dr Richard Davies with members from BGI

  • Credentials 1 December 2021

    After doing things digitally in previous times, today Government House welcomed diplomats in person for Dame Cindy’s first Credentials ceremonies. Presenting their letters of credence this morning was HE Dr Zsolt Gábor Hetesy, Ambassador of Hungary and HE Mr Jimmy Nipo, High Commissioner of the Republic of Vanuatu. Also attending was HE Mr Eliam Tangirongo, High Commissioner for the Solomon Islands. HE Tangirongo presented his credentials earlier to the Prime Minister, as is custom for countries where Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State.

    HE Mr Jimmy Nipo reads a speech to Dame Cindy Kiro

    For the afternoon ceremonies, Dame Cindy welcomed HE Mr Rashed Alqemzi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates; HE Mr Marcos Arbizu De Souza Campos, Ambassador of Brazil and HE Hon Thomas Udall, Ambassador of the United States of America.

    HE Mr Marcos Arbizu De Souza Campos with Joe Harawira and Puhiwahine Tibble

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  • Visit to Nisa

    Dame Cindy visited Wellington clothing company, nisa, created in 2017 by former lawyer Elisha Watson. Nisa has been supporting women from refugee and migrant backgrounds, helping them settle into their new communities and giving them a step-up on the employment ladder. Elisha was inspired to create Nisa while volunteering with the Red Cross refugee resettlement programme. The idea proved to be a real success: the company has now given 19 migrants and former refugees their first job in New Zealand.

    Initially, Nisa manufactured underwear as it was easier to make. The growth of the business has meant tops, bottoms and swimwear have been added to their line.

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    Dame Cindy Kiro with the team at Nisa

  • Wellington City Mission Visit

    This morning Dame Cindy and Dr Davies visited the Wellington City Mission. City Missioner Murray Edridge took them on a tour of the current facilities, including the cafe, chapel, and social supermarket. Dame Cindy and Dr Davies met some of the Mission's manuhiri and staff. They also had a digital tour of the Mission's new complex, Whakamuru, which will be constructed over a two year period. It will offer accommodation, laundry facilities, a cafe, a chapel, a medical centre and a conference centre. 

  • The Council of Jewish Women "Women of Worth Awards"

    Last night Dame Cindy presented "Women of Worth" Awards to six women who had been nominated by Wellington branch members of the Council of Jewish Women. The recipients are all active in their community and also contribute to the wider community - as teachers, carers, artists, activists, volunteers, leaders, and devoted family members.

    Speech transcript

    Image Gallery

  • Armistice Day 2021

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies meeting with veterans after the Act of Remembrance.
    On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the armistice between Germany and the Allies came into effect, signalling the end of World War One. To commemorate Armistice Day, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies attended a socially distanced Act of Remembrance at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The Act of Remembrance acknowledges the New Zealanders who served both here and overseas during the four-year war, which was about 9% of the population at the time.

    On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the armistice between Germany and the Allies came into effect, signalling the end of World War One. To commemorate Armistice Day, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies attended a socially distanced Act of Remembrance at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The Act of Remembrance acknowledges the New Zealanders who served both here and overseas during the four-year war, which was about 9% of the population at the time.

    In her speech, Dame Cindy noted the similarities between the first Armistice Day and today.

    This was at the height of the 1918 influenza pandemic, and some gatherings were cancelled for fear of spreading the virus. It is a sobering link to the present day, and I acknowledge there may be veterans and others who would have liked to have been here with us this morning, or at local commemorations, but have been prevented due to COVID-19”.

    The Act of Remembrance was also attended by Minister for Veterans Hon Meka Whaitiri, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Dr Shane Reti, Chief of Defence AM Kevin Short, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps HE Mr Leasi Papali'i Tommy Scanlan and National President of the RSA BJ Clark.
    For more history on New Zealand and Armistice Day, go to NZ History.

    Dame Cindy's speech 

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  • Reception for the Diplomatic Corps

    On Friday 29th October 2021, Dame Cindy Kiro hosted a reception for the Diplomatic Corps at Government House Wellington. In her speech to the Corps, Dame Cindy said she was looking forward to developing relationships across the diplomatic community during her time in Office, and acknowledged what a difficult time it must have been for the community, seperated from families and friends by resticted borders.

    Dame Cindy Kiro addressing the Diplomatic Corps

    The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, His Excellency Mr Leasi Papali'i Tommy Scanlan, High Commissioner of Somoa, also spoke, thanking Dame Cindy and Dr Davies for their hospitality, and wishing them all the very best for their time in Government House. Representatives from over 40 countries were in attendence.

    Dame Cindy with the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Mr Leasi Papali'i Tommy Scanlan

    Dame Cindy's full speech transcript.

  • Remembering The Hon Dame Catherine Anne Tizard, ONZ, GCMG, GCVO, DBE, QSO

    Dame Cath Tizard hosting an investiture ceremony
    Dame Cath Tizard hosting an investiture ceremony at Government House Wellington
    Dame Catherine Tizard was born on the 4th April 1931 in Auckland, to Scottish immigrant parents Neil and Helen McLean.  After graduating from Matamata College, she attended the University of Auckland where she completed a degree in zoology and co-authored several papers on sea sponges. Dame Cath then worked at the University as a senior tutor of zoology for 20 years.

    Dame Cath hopping in an Air Force plane
    Dame Cath getting in to a Air Force jet during a visit to Ohakea. Copyright RNZAF
    Her interest in biology and the natural world was  matched by her passion for quality childcare and  community work. Her roles across these spheres of interest included President of the Play Centre Committee, membership of the Eastern Secondary Schools Board of Governors and terms as an Auckland City Councillor.

    Dame Cath was a trailblazer for women in two of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prominent public offices: the Mayoralty of our biggest city and the role of Governor-General.

    In 1983, Dame Cath was elected the first female Mayor of Auckland. During her term, she was instrumental in bringing the 1990 Commonwealth Games to Auckland. 

    In 1990, Dame Cath was appointed as Governor-General by Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer.  Since her term, three more female Governors-General have occupied Government House.

    Dame Cath was made a Dame in 1984, and in 2002, she became a member of New Zealand's most prestigious and select group of citizens, the Order of New Zealand. This is New Zealand's highest honour, and at any one time, can be held by 20 living New Zealanders.

    Dame Cath Tizard with HRH The Prince of Wales
    Dame Cath with HRH The Prince of Wales during a Royal Visit in 2014

    Dame Cath was famous for her down-to-earth manner and sharp wit. She particularly enjoyed hosting events at Government House and meeting a wide cross-section of New Zealand society. She had a keen interest in the arts and scuba diving, and relished the challenge of a good cryptic crossword.

    In a 2014 interview with the New Zealand Herald, Dame Cath was asked what she would like her legacy to be.  She replied “ To the best of my ability I tried to do some good, tried to make people's lives better in whatever way I could? Without sounding sanctimonious about it. Perhaps just that I tried not to do any harm”.

    On 31 October, after a life of extraordinary service and accomplishment, Dame Cath died at the age of 90.

    Members of the public have been invited to sign a condolence book in the main entrance of the Executive Wing of Parliament. People can also email messages to condolences@dia.govt.nz

    Dame Cath Tizard

  • Dame Cindy Kiro Swearing-In at Parliament and wreath laying at Pukeahu

    Dame Cindy Kiro at her swearing-in ceremony
    “I stand here today: grateful for this opportunity, and determined to bring all my experience, understanding, and resolve to this new chapter of our nation’s story”.

    On Thursday 21st of October, The Rt Hon Dame Cindy Kiro was sworn in as Governor-General of Aotearoa New Zealand. The ceremony took place in the Legislative Council Chamber of Parliament, attended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Chief Justice Dame Helen Winkelmann.

    After her Swearing-In at Parliament this morning, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies visited Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and to sign the Visitor's Book.

    Representing the New Zealand Defence Force at Pukeahu was Chief of Defence, AM Kevin Short, Chief of Navy RA David Proctor, Chief of Army Maj Gen John Boswell and Chief of Air Force AVM Andrew Clark.

    Swearing-In speech 
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    Dame Cindy Kiro and Dr Richard Davies

  • A private audience with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

    With the help of digital technology, a very special moment occoured for our Governor-General Designate, Dame Cindy Kiro, when she had a private audience with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, New Zealand’s Head of State.

    This follows the long-standing tradition of such meetings before the swearing-in of a new Governor-General, and this virtual meeting enabled a significant moment in our constitutional processes to be recognised.

    During the call, Dame Cindy recieved the insignia of Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and the Queen's Service Order - honours traditionally conferred to the Governor-General.

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    Dame Cindy Kiro introduces Dr Richard Davies to Queen Elizabeth II

  • Farewell to Governor-General the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy

    Chief Justice the Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias speaking to the Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy
    The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy at her swearing in ceremony, speaking to Chief Justice the Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias

    Dame Patsy’s term as Governor-General of New Zealand ended on 28th September 2021. Since being sworn in five years ago to the day, Dame Patsy hosted and attended almost 2000 engagements at both Government House Wellington and Auckland, and across every region in the North and South Island. Dame Patsy and Sir David have also represented New Zealand in 15 countries and welcomed 12 Heads of State to Aotearoa New Zealand.

    Throughout her term, Dame Patsy’s strategic priority was to highlight and celebrate New Zealand’s creativity, innovation, leadership and diversity, through the patronage of organisations, the programme of events she hosted at Government House, and her community engagement.

    Dame Patsy Reddy with Sir Joe Williams
    Dame Patsy with Sir Joseph Williams after his investiture at Manaia Marae

    Dame Patsy and Sir David are great supporters of the arts, and in 2017 Dame Patsy opened Aotearoa New Zealand's 8th entry in Italy's prestigious Venice Biennale: Lisa Reihana: Emissaries. The international contemporary art exhibition attracted around 500,000 visitors to see this internationally acclaimed work, which focuses on the early interactions between the indigenous peoples of the Pacific and European colonisers.

    2018 saw a year of celebrations to mark 125 years since women were given the right to vote in Aotearoa. On Suffrage Day, Dame Patsy hosted two functions that brought together 46 of the 81 living Dames, to celebrate the contributions and achievements of these outstanding wāhine toa. It was the first time such gatherings had been held.

    Dame Patsy Reddy with Farid Ahmed at the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre
    Dame Patsy Reddy with Farid Ahmed at the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre

    Sustainability, including our responsibility to be better kaitiaki for our environment, was also a focus of Dame Patsy's term. In 2019, Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted an inaugural hui for the Aotearoa Circle, a partnership between private and public sector leaders working towards solutions to the climate crisis. Dame Patsy was co-patron of the organisation, along with prominent environmentalist and businessman Sir Rob Fenwick. Since its launch, Dame Patsy hosted further events with the Aotearoa Circle to help promote and continue its work.

    Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne with their level 4 Covid bubble
    Dame Patsy, Sir David and Coco with their Covid-19 Alert Level 4 bubble mates, AsDC FLTLT Sylvie Admore and FLTLT Victor Ikini (Photo copyright Mark Smith)
    The global Covid-19 pandemic impacted on Dame Patsy's programme in 2020 and 2021, with some engagements and events shifting to the virtual world. After the first level four nationwide lockdown, Dame Patsy and Sir David met with people working on the frontline - from St John paramedics, to teachers and supermarket staff - thanking them for all they had done during these difficult times.

    In her final year, Dame Patsy became the first sitting Governor-General in living memory to visit Parihaka, the historic Taranaki pā at the centre of peaceful resistance against land confiscations in the 1860s. 

    Although there was much to acknowledge and celebrate during Dame Patsy's term, it was punctuated by immense tragedy, natural disasters and nationwide emergencies. Dame Patsy and Sir David attended memorials for the Whakaari/White Island tragedy and the Christchurch terror attack in 2019. In 2021 Dame Patsy spoke at the ten-year anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake, remembering the many thousands of lives affected by the 6.2 magnitude quake.  

    One of the Governor-General's most important roles is to hold investiture ceremonies for recipients of New Year and Queen's Birthday Honours. In total, Dame Patsy held around 170 such ceremonies, celebrating the achievements and contributions of outstanding and deserving New Zealanders. While the majority of the ceremonies were held at Government House Wellington and Auckland, on occasion they were held as far north as Waitangi and as far south as Bluff.

    Dame Jools and Dame Lynda Topp wearing the korowai received by Dames
    Dame Jools and Dame Lynda Topp wearing Te Iti Kahurangi and Whakaawe Kāpara

    Dame Patsy initiated ways to incorporate more tikanga into the ceremonies. Recipients are now welcomed with a karanga by the kuia, followed by a karakia from the kaumātua.

    Dame Patsy ensured that Dames could receive an equivilent recognition to the accolade recieved by Knights. After receiving their insignia, Dames are given the opportunity to wear one of two korowai - Te Iti Kahurangi and Whakaawe Kāpara. Over time, the whakapapa of the korowai will be imbued with the stories of the women whose contributions have helped to shape Aotearoa's social, cultural and political identity.

     

    Here's a look back to some more significant events from Dame Patsy's term as Governor-General:

    Events at Government House

    Suffrage 125

    Taste of Cultures Dinner

    Waitangi Day 2021

    Artist in Residence - Troy Kingi Album Preview

    Royal Visits

    Visit of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall

    TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

    State Visits

    President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins

    HE Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of the Federal Republic of Germany

    President of the Republic of Croatia, Her Excellency Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

    Regional Visits

    Northland 2018

    Taranaki 2021

    Southland, Te Rau Aroha Marae 2021

    Overseas Visits

    Le Quesnoy 2018

    2018 visit to Turkey for ANZAC Day

    The naming of HMNZS Aotearoa in Korea

    Commonwealth Games 2018 

    National Events

    Royal Assent for the Rua Kenana Pardon Bill at Maungapohatu 2019

    Whakaari/White Island Commemoration

    New Zealand State Memorial Service for The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

     

     

     

  • The Administrator of the Government

    Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann
    Official photo of The Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann
    In between a Governor-General’s term ending and the appointment of the next Governor-General, there is a need to fulfil the functions of the office during the interregnum. Until the 21st of October 2021, these roles will be undertaken by The Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann, Administrator of the Government.

    The role of Administrator is given to the Chief Justice of New Zealand, with the line of succession following the next most senior members of the New Zealand judiciary.

    The Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann was appointed as Chief Justice in December 2018, taking office on the 13th of March 2019. Dame Helen succeeded Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias who concluded her 20-year term as Chief Justice in 2019.

    Dame Helen Winkelmann is New Zealand’s 13th Chief Justice and is the second woman to occupy this role. She was born and raised in Auckland, studying history and law at University of Auckland before being admitted to the bar in 1985. After becoming the first female partner at Nicholson Gribbin (now DLA Piper), she became a High Court Judge in 2004, Chief High Court Judge in 2010 and was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2015.

    Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias speaking at an event she is hosting as Administrator
    Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias speaking at an event in her capacity as Administrator in 2017.
    There are several instances when the Administrator assumes the roles of Governor-General: during the interregnum, if the Governor-General is outside the country or if they are otherwise unable to perform their duties.

    The Administrator has the same vice-regal powers as the Governor-General. They perform all constitutional functions the Governor-General  would, including attending Executive Council and giving Royal assent to new laws. They may also host events at Government House in the place of the Governor-General.

    The Chief Justice has acted as the Administrator since around 1870. Prior to this, the position was filled by senior military officers from British imperial forces.  

    For more information on The Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann, please visit the Courts of New Zealand website.

  • Launch of the QEII Partners in Protection Programme

    Conservation and sustainability have been a strong focus of Dame Patsy's engagements during her term of office, so it was highly appropriate that her final official engagement at Government House should be to launch a new initiative of the QEII National Trust: the Partners in Protection Programme. The QEII Trust's mission to inspire private landowners to protect and enhance open spaces of ecological and cultural significance has resulted in over 4,700 protected areas across Aotearoa. The Partners in Protection Programme honours the generosity of individuals and families who plan to leave gifts to the Trust in their wills and allows the Trust to thank such supporters in the course of their lifetime, and celebrate their passion for protection, enhancement, and preservation of New Zealand’s land. Hon Kiritapu Allan, Minister of Conservation also spoke at the launch, as well as Bruce Wills, who received an ONZM this year for his services to agriculture and conservation.

    Speech transcript

  • The unveiling of Dame Patsy Reddy's Coat of Arms

    A very special gathering was held in Taupaepae on the 20th September for the unveiling of Dame Patsy’s Coat of Arms, which now sit proudly next to those of Sir Jerry Mateparae. The Coat of Arms  reflects Dame Patsy and Sir David’s support of the arts, so it was very appropriate that the team from Wētā Workshop was tasked with bringing the Armorial Bearings to life. This is the first time the Governor-General's Coat of Arms has not been completely hand-carved, as Wētā Workshop used a milling machine to help capture the fine details.

    Dame Patsy Reddy and crew from Weta Workshop

    The supporters on the Coat of Arms are two tīeke (North Island Saddleback), birds noted for their flute-like whistles and warbles. The badge is a huia standing on a fern frond surrounded by a gold chain and stylised mānuka flowers, which represents the Queen’s Service Order. This is the first time both the tīeke and the huia have appeared on a vice-regal Coat of Arms. It is also the first time a Badge has been granted to a woman in New Zealand.

    The whakatauki on Dame Patsy Reddy's Coat of Arms

    The shield features the comedy and tragedy masks and the Cotises are stylised film strips. There are also two carved pūtōrino, a wooden taonga puoro, in reference to those played by former Government House Artist-in-Residence Horomona Horo. The motto is the whakataukī “He toi whakairo he mana tangata”, which translates to “where there is artistic excellence there is human dignity”. This whakataukī is particularly significant to Dame Patsy as it was also a favourite of her former Kaumatua, the late Professor Piri Sciascia.

    The Coat of Arms was designed by New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary, Phillip O'Shea.

    More photos

    Previous Coats of Arms

    A more detailed description of the Coat of Arms can be found in the link below.

  • Credentials Ceremony 7 September 2021

    Dame Patsy virtually welcomed incoming Diplomats to Government House with the return of Credentials ceremonies via Zoom this afternoon. Presenting their letters of credence today were HE Mrs Felicidade de Sousa Guterres, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste, HE Mr Wolfgang-Lukas Strohmayer, Ambassador of Austria, HE Mr Joe Tapera Mhishi, Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe, HE Mr Ronald Recinos, Ambassador of the Republic of Guatemala and HE Mr Mario Farrugia Borg, High Commissioner of the Republic of Malta.

    As a result of New Zealand being in Alert Level 3 and with all but two of the Diplomats based in Australia, the ceremony was held via Zoom.

    In usual circumstances, Credentials ceremonies showcase a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand welcome for Ambassadors and High Commissioners as they begin their posting. The setup of the Zoom version instead offers a lesson on Kiwi ingenuity!

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    Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne on a Zoom call

  • Royal Humane Society of New Zealand Silver Medal Presentation

    This afternoon at Government House, Dame Patsy awarded Royal Humane Society of New Zealand Silver Medals to three extraordinary New Zealanders. Surrounded by family and friends, Constable Scott Higby, Finekata Moataane, and Provisional Sergeant Brett Anthony Neal were recognised for acts of exceptional bravery, and for putting their own lives at risk in the service of others. This was Dame Patsy’s final ceremony as patron of the Royal Humane Society, which has been part of New Zealand’s formal acknowledgement and recognition system for nearly 123 years.

    Dame Patsy Reddy with Constable Scott Higby, Finekata Moataane, and Provisional Sergeant Brett Anthony Neal

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  • Pet Refuge Official Opening

    After visiting the site during its construction last year, Dame Patsy had the privilege to open Pet Refuge’s new space, which can now welcome up to 75 animals including cats, dogs, birds and other small pets. At the opening, Dame Patsy and Sir David had a tour of the site and its facilities, which offers animal enrichment areas, a vet clinic and some cosy cat beds made by students at Unitec.

    A recent study by Women’s Refuge found that 53% of women facing family violence delayed leaving out of fear for the safety of their pets. To answer this need, Pet Refuge was created to give pets temporary accommodation while their owners seek help. 

    The opening was attended by several people instrumental in the creation of Pet Refuge, including Women's Refuge Chief Executive Dr Ang Jury. Women's Refuge will partner with Pet Refuge to ensure pets caught up in family violence can get to safety while their owners do too.

    More photos

    Jo Linsday speaks while her dog Louis watches on

  • Taranaki Regional Visit

    For Dame Patsy’s final regional visit as Governor-General, she headed north to Taranaki for a three-

    Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne head down a tunnel of red lights
    day trip. The first stop on the trip was a celebration gala for Taranaki Arts Festival Trust’s 30 Years of Festivals. TAFT are responsible for hosting some of the biggest arts festivals in the Taranaki region, including the hugely popular WOMAD music festival. The evening included a cabaret performance by Mandy Meadows, singing a selection of songs from her show Piaf: The Legend.

    The next morning, Dame Patsy and Sir David were welcomed onto the historic Parihaka marae, a village formed by Te Whiti-O-Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi in 1866. During the New Zealand Wars, it became a home for disenfranchised and displaced Māori, and was known for its use of peaceful resistance against land confiscation. It was invaded in 1881 by Crown constabulary, who spent four years there and imprisoned many of the settlement’s residents.

    Dame Patsy was shown around the Pā, which is home to many whare built by iwi from around the country. She was taken to a hill near the entrance, with views of the Pā, the urupā and Mt Taranaki. The hill was also the site of a barracks used by the constabulary, which had cannons pointing at peaceful protestors below.

    On the marae, iwi leaders had a whaikōrero about Parihaka’s past and their plans for the future.

    Afterwards, it was on to New Plymouth’s information hub, Puke Ariki. The striking building is home to a library, research centre and museum that focuses on the natural world and history of Taranaki.

    Dame Patsy Reddy admiring a work by Len Lye
    That evening, Dame Patsy presented the inaugural Govett-Brewster Foundation Awards at the gallery’s 50th Year celebrations. The awards recognised people who had been instrumental in the creation and support of the gallery over their 50-year history. The Govett-Brewster Gallery is also home to the Len Lye Centre, a gallery dedicated to the Canterbury-born artist. While there, Dame Patsy saw a performance by one of Len Lye’s kinetic works called Wand Dance.

    The final day began with a trip up to the historic Camp House in North Egmont National Park to meet with Department of Conservation, Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust and Taranaki Mounga Project to discuss the amazing success they have had in the journey to restore Mt Taranaki’s natural flora and fauna. Together with a huge number of volunteers, the National Park has become the first in the country to be able to say they are goat-free – this has given the natural vegetation a chance to grow back, and has helped the native birds flourish in the area.

    A group photo in front of the Camp House

    The final stop on the regional was to Theory Food, a catering company that has combined with charity Gabby’s Starlit Hope, to provide meals for children and their families while the child is in hospital battling cancer. Dame Patsy and Sir David hopped in the kitchen to help put together some meals destined for parents with kids in hospital; on the menu that evening were chicken tacos.

    Dame Patsy Reddy, Sir David Gascoigne at Theory Food

    Below are more photos for the following engagements:

    TAFT 30

    Parihaka gallery and the speech

    Puke Ariki

    Govett-Brewster 50th Celebration gallery and the speech

    Camp House Visit

    Theory Food

     

  • Institute of Directors

    Last night at Government House Dame Patsy was presented with a Distinguished Fellowship Award by the Institute of Directors, in recognition of her contribution in governance roles in the private sector and government.

    Jackie Lloyd and Julia Hoare presented Dame Patsy with the Distinguished Fellowship Award
    Dame Patsy with other Distinguished Fellows of the Institute of Directors
  • Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre visit

    The second stop on Dame Patsy's final visit to Christchurch was a place she is now well-familiar with - the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre. This was her fourth visit to the centre, based in the Phillipstown Community Hub. While she was there, members shared their stories about how they came to New Zealand and what it was like for them settling in to their new home. 

    Founder Ahmed Tani presented Dame Patsy with a poem about diversity to thank her for her visits to the centre during her term.

    More photos

    Ahmed Tani speaking

  • Untouched World visit

    On their first stop during the day visit to Christchurch, Dame Patsy and Sir David visited leading New Zealand sustainable fashion lable Untouched World. They produce most of their garments in New Zealand from sustainable and ethical sources that are as local as possible, with the exception of fibres unavailable to source in Aotearoa.

    While there, they also learned about the brands enviromental education program, Untouched World Foundation. It teaches rangatahi from around the country about leadership and environmental issues, helping better equip the next generation to face the big environmental issues facing our country and the planet.

    More photos

    Dame Patsy Reddy and Vanessa Campbell

  • Official opening of the Waikato Regional Council premises

    This afternoon Dame Patsy and Sir David attended the official opening of the Waikato Regional Council's new premises in Hamilton.

    Dame Patsy declared the building open, and Kiingi Tuheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero te Tuawhitu unveiled taonga at various points in the building.

    The Council chose to move into a building where there was a commitment to reduce carbon footprint wherever possible, in line with the Council’s ‘green pledge’ to its communities. Structural timber flooring has been used instead of concrete and steel, carbon neutral and recycled material has been used in floor coverings, and there is provision for electric vehicle charging and solar panels.

    A 10,000m holding tank is located under the garden on Tristram Street, fed from rainwater collected on the roof. This water meets the irrigation requirements of the garden.

    Solar panels power water heating, car charging, lighting, and the HVAC systems.

     

    Dame Patsy with Kiingi Tuheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero te Tuawhitu
    The official party at the opening of the Waikato Regional Council's premises
  • New Zealand Portrait Gallery Reception

    This evening, Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a reception for the New Zealand Portrait Gallery Te Pūkenga Whakaata. The Gallery, which has its permanent home at Shed 11 on Wellington’s Waterfront, tells the story of New Zealanders through portraiture. The charitable trust has a collection of portraits on display, and is currently hosting The Kiingi Tuheitia Portraiture Award. Dame Patsy and Sir David had the chance to visit this exhibition earlier in the week; the new Award encourages emerging Māori artists to create a portrait of their tūpuna. From the 128 entries, 40 finalists were displayed at the Portrait Gallery, with the winners selected by prominent artists Sir Derek Lardelli, Lisa Reihana and Kura Te Waru Rewiri.

    More photos

    Sir David Gascoigne with guests

    Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne visit the New Zealand Portrait Gallery

  • New Zealand Olympic Team Pounamu Presentation

    At Olympic House in Auckland, Dame Patsy and Sir David received a briefing from New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith and NZOC President Mike Stanley. They also had the chance to speak with soon-to-be departing weightlifting coach Richie Patterson, Black Sticks vice-captain Sam Charlton and karate competitor Andrea Anacan. Andrea Anacan is set to be the first New Zealander to compete in Karate – a new event added to the Olympics.

    While at Olympic House, Dame Patsy was presented with a special taonga; a pounamu gifted to each member of the New Zealand Olympic and Paralympic team. The pounamu are individually carved by Ngāi Tahu.

    More photos

    Mike Stanley presenting Dame Patsy Reddy with a pounamu

  • Royal Wellington Golf Club

    Last night Dame Patsy and Sir David were hosted to a dinner by the Royal Wellington Golf Club. Governors and Governors-General have had a long association with the Club.

    Speech transcript

    Dame Patsy speaking at the Royal Wellington Golf Club
  • NZDF Thank You Dinner

    Following on from last week’s dinner for the 11 Defence personnel who have acted as her Aides de

    Dame Patsy Reddy and AM Kevin Short
    Camp, yesterday evening Dame Patsy thanked New Zealand Defence personnel for their support during her term of office. Army, Air Force and Navy personnel have provided Guards of Honour, cultural parties and bands for ceremonial occasions, including State Welcomes.

    Memorable engagements with Defence have included international commemorations, opportunities to meet veterans and current personnel, the naming ceremony for HMNZS ‘Aotearoa’ in South Korea and a subsequent voyage on the ship in New Zealand waters. Other highlights include visiting Defence bases, attending graduation ceremonies – and taking a 10-hour trip on a Hercules to Vanuatu. At the dinner, Chief of Defence AM Kevin Short presented Dame Patsy with the New Zealand Armed Forces award.

    To mark the occasion, Government House was lit up with a fireworks display projected on the outside of the building.

    More photos Speech transcript

    Government House lit up with a projection of fireworks

  • Caring Families Aotearoa Excellence in Foster Care Awards 2021

    Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted the annual Caring Families Aotearoa Excellence in Foster Care awards for some outstanding carers this afternoon. The annual awards recognise carers from around New Zealand going above and beyond for young people in need. Today, 15 outstanding people were recognised for going above and beyond, looking after tamariki and rangatahi in their care.

    Deputy Chair of Caring Families Aotearoa Colin Hardgrave put it well when he said that a caring family brings the gift of healing to tamariki and rangatahi, helping to stop hurt kids becoming hurt adults.

    More photos Speech transcript

    Dame Patsy Reddy with the winners of the Excellence in Foster Care Awards

  • Opening of the Cressy Wing at St George's Hospital in Christchurch

    Last Friday, following the investiture ceremony at Christchurch Town Hall, Dame Patsy and Sir David went to St George's Hospital for the official opening of the Cressy Wing. The Wing completes the hospital's extensive rebuild programme that was required after the Canterbury earthquakes.

    The Cressy Wing includes operating theatres, a laundry, an efficient energy centre and a maternity ward.

    Image Gallery

    Speech transcript

    Dame Patsy unveiling the plaque for the Cressy Wing
    Dame Patsy touring the Cressy Wing

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