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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • Auckland Investitures 27 May 2022 PM

    Among the eight recipients at this afternoon’s investiture ceremony was Teremoana Rapley, where she was recognised for contributions to music and television. Teremoana is known for her solo music career, as part of Moana and the Moahunters, and collaborations with other artists like King Kapisi and Che Fu. Teremoana has also been a presenter on Mai Time, and was a producer at Māori Television for 10 years.

    Also recognised was Harry Mikaere, who has contributed significantly to New Zealand’s aquaculture industry. Chef Rob Oliver received an MNZM for services to the food industry and Pacific Communities.

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    Ms Teremoana Rapley, Dame Cindy Kiro


  • Auckland Investitures 27 May 2022 AM

    A New Zealand sporting trailblazer received a DNZM this morning at Government House. Dame Ruia Morrison was recognised for her outstanding tennis career, where she was the first Māori to compete at Wimbledon. She played in the 1957, 1958 1960 tournaments, and has since become a pivotal figure in Aotearoa tennis. Dame Ruia was also the New Zealand Open singles champion six times, famously beating Margaret Court in the 1960 final.

    Hon Steve Chadwick was honoured for her career in both local and central government. As a Member of Parliament, she was Minister of Conservation, Women’s Affairs and Associate Minister of Health. She has been Mayor of Rotorua since 2013.

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    The Honourable Steve Chadwick, Dame Cindy Kiro

  • Auckland Investiture 26 May 2022 PM

    Eight further recipients were welcomed to Government House for their investiture ceremony this afternoon, including Nigel Borell, recognised for services to Māori art. He was the creative mind behind Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, and is currently curator Taonga Māori at the Auckland War Memorial.

    Professor Emeritus Stuart Middleton received a CNZM for work services to education. He helped develop Manukau Institute of Technology’s Tertiary High School. This school helps students at risk of disengaging with education complete NCEA and University Entrance, and transition them to higher learning.

    Mrs Kolokesa Māhina-Tuai, Dame Cindy Kiro


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  • Auckland Investiture 26 May 2022 AM

    Former Auckland City Missioner, Sir Chris Farrelly, received his KNZM at Government House this morning. Sir Chris was recognised for his long career in Te Tai Tokerau’s health sector, and for his work leading the Auckland City Mission. As Missioner, he led the development of the City Mission’s new facility, HomeGround.

    Also receiving honours was journalist Jim Tucker, who has contributed to the industry for over 50 years, and Margery Pita, who was an original member of the Māori Volcanics Showband.

    Congratulations to all recipients this morning.

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    Mrs Ingi Tusini-Rex, Dame Cindy Kiro

  • Auckland Investiture 25 May 2022 AM

    Dame Cindy presented insignia to six Honours recipients this morning at Government House Auckland. Mr Ross Black was acknowledged for his services to health, founding the Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust and acting as its Chair from 1998 to 2019. Ms Jessica Buddendijk received her Honorary Queen's Service Medal for services to the aged care sector, in particular during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sincere congratulations to all of this morning's recipients.

    Mr Ross Black, ONZM, of Wanaka, for services to health

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Auckland Investiture 24 May 2022 PM

    Auckland investiture ceremonies continued this afternoon, with eight further recipients honoured for their outstanding work across New Zealand. Mr John Rosser received his insignia for services to choral music, including as National Director and adjudicator of the annual Big Sing secondary schools’ choral festival. Mrs Louisa Humphry received the insignia of an Honorary member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to Kiribati community and culture.

    Mr John Rosser, CNZM, of Auckland, for services to choral music

    You can find further images from the ceremony here.

  • Auckland Investiture 24 May 2022 AM

    Professor Dame Marilyn Waring was one of those acknowledged in this morning's investiture ceremony at Government House Auckland. Dame Marilyn is Professor of Public Policy at the Auckland University of Technology, and has had an esteemed academic career across the fields of economics, women's issues, and international aid. Six other recipients were acknowledged for their outstanding service and achievements across education, police, and Pasifika communities.

    Professor Dame Marilyn Waring, DNZM, of Auckland, for services to women and economics

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Auckland Investiture 23 May 2022 PM

    Auckland investiture ceremonies began at Government House this afternoon, with eight outstanding individuals receiving insignia for their contributions across the fields of education, humanitarian advocacy, and conservation. Among recipients was Professor Dame Carolyn Burns, who received her damehood for her pioneering research on the ecology of lakes, and who served as the first female president of the International Limnological Society.

    Professor Dame Carolyn Burns, DNZM, of Dunedin, for services to ecological research

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • SPCA 150th Anniversary Celebration

    Last night at Government House Wellington, Dr Davies hosted the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) for their 150th anniversary celebrations. Since 1872, the SPCA has been committed to helping New Zealand animals: through advocacy, education, rehabilitation, and of course, adoption.

    Fedya on high alert

    St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, is attributed with the words: ‘We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.’ The SPCA truly embodies the spirit and compassion of St Francis, and we wish them every success.

    You can find more images from the event here, and Dr Davies' full speech here.

  • Dame Cindy visit to Abu Dhabi

    Dame Cindy travelled to Abu Dhabi to attend an azza (official ceremonial ceremony) following the death of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Dame Cindy was New Zealand's official representative and paid respects on behalf of the people of New Zealand to the family of His Highness.

  • New Zealand Search and Rescue Awards 2021

    While Dame Cindy was in the United Arab Emirates, in her place Dr Davies was honoured to welcome recipients of the 2021 New Zealand Search and Rescue Awards. These awards recognise NZSAR personnel who have gone above and beyond to ensure people who find themselves in perilous situations made it back home. The New Zealand Search and Rescue sector is made up of around 12000 people across many different agencies, working together to rescue people in distress on land, at sea, or by air. NZSAR covers an area stretching all the way from Scott Base in Antarctica to as far north as Tokelau. Of the almost 3000 incidents NZSAR was involved in last year, 45% resulted in a search and rescue operation being launched.

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  • Launch of the Trees that Count Legacy Project for the Platinum Jubilee

    This year, DOC, Trees that Count and Tapu o Tane will assist community groups, iwi and private landowners to plant 100,000 native trees at various locations across Aotearoa. These plantings are New Zealand’s legacy project to mark the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne.
    On 16 May at Government House, the Chief Justice, Dame Helen Winkelmann, Hon Kiritapu Allen and Joris de Bres of Project Crimson launched the project by planting a kauri in the grounds. 
    Dame Helen was acting as Administrator for the Government while Dame Cindy was in Abu Dhabi representing New Zealand at an azza (official condolence ceremony) for His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

    To read Hon Kiritapu Allen's speech, click here.

    You can read more about the initiative on the Trees that Count website.

    Hon Kiritapu Allen and Dame Helen Winkelmann planting a kauri
  • Pōwhiri at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds

    Surrounded by her whānau and closest supporters, Dame Cindy was officially welcomed onto the Waitangi Treaty Grounds as Governor-General. Among esteemed guests was Kiingi Tūheitia, as well as leaders and representatives from iwi across Te Tai Tokerau and Waikato. Following the pōwhiri, Dame Cindy completed the custom for all new Governors-General of planting a pōhutukawa on the Treaty Grounds.

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies enjoying the waiata

    Her Excellency closed her address to the congregation with the famous words of Sir James Henare: ‘Kua tawhiti kē tō haerenga mai, kia kore e haere tonu. He nui rawa ō mahi kia kore e mahi tonu' – 'We have come too far not to go further. We have done too much not to do more'.

    Warrior following the challenge

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

  • Homecoming at Mōtatau Marae

    It was a very special day for Dame Cindy and her whānau in Northland, as she was formally welcomed onto Mōtatau Marae in recognition of her appointment as Governor-General. During the welcome, Dame Cindy was presented with an exquisite korowai – Te Ata o te Whenua – made especially for Her Excellency as a token of deepest aroha, pride, and esteem from Te Tai Tokerau. The name translates as 'the Shadow over the Land'.

    Dame Cindy addressing the marae in her korowai

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

  • Wellington Investiture 10 May 2022 PM

    Eleven recipients were recognised for outstanding service in their communities in the final investiture ceremony of this round at Government House Wellington. Venkat Raman received an MNZM for his work on behalf of the New Zealand Indian community, which includes as founder of Gandhi Nivas and the Saint Mother Teresa Interfaith committee. Richard Benge also received an MNZM for his work with Arts Access Aotearoa, an organisation that increases participation in the arts for those who would otherwise experience barriers in doing so.

    Mr Venkat Raman, MNZM, of Auckland, for services to the Indian community

    That concludes this round of Wellington investiture ceremonies. Our warmest congratulations to all recipients.

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

  • Wellington Investiture 10 May 2022 AM

    This morning at Government House Wellington, Dame Cindy was pleased to acknowledge Dr Lindsay Mildenhall, ONZM, for his extensive work in the fields of neonatal intensive care and resuscitation training. Dr Chris Moyes, ONZM, was also acknowledged for his work on the treatment of hepatitis B (HBV), which led to the introduction of an HBV immunisation programme for children.

    Other honours recipients received insignia for their contributions across governance, sport, community, theatre, and heritage. Dame Cindy will host the final ceremony in this round of Wellington investitures later today.

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    Dr Lindsay Mildenhall, Dame Cindy Kiro

  • Wellington Investiture 9 May 2022 PM

    Among the ten recipients at this afternoon’s investiture ceremony was Dr Arapera Royal Tangaere, receiving a CNZM for her work with Te Kōhanga Reo Trust since 1982. The first Kōhanga Reo opened in the Wellington region that year, and there are now around 460 of the Māori language immersion preschools across the country.

    Teremoana Yala was recognised for her work in the Cook Islands community, including time as the Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand. Also honoured was renowned artist and Treaty negotiator Alex Nathan, and conservationist Bill Fleury. Congratulations to this afternoon’s recipients.

    Dr Arapera Royal Tangaere, CNZM, of Wellington, for services to Māori and education

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Wellington Investiture 6 May 2022 PM

    For this week’s final investiture ceremony, Dame Cindy welcomed eleven recipients to Government House. Rosemary McLeod was recognised for her career as a writer and cartoonist. She was one of the creators of iconic New Zealand drama Gloss, and has won several awards for her long-form journalism in North and South magazine.  

    Actress Tanea Heke received an MNZM for services to the arts and Māori. Ms Heke recently starred in the 2021 film Cousins, and is currently Director of Te Kura Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School. Marilyn Moffatt also received an MNZM for her years of work with Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

    Ms Rosemary McLeod, ONZM, of Wellington, for services to journalism and television

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Investiture Ceremony 6 May 2022 AM

    The eleven honours recipients at this morning's investiture ceremony were thanked for their achievements and services to Pacific health and education; agricultural science and business; tertiary education; Fire and Emergency New Zealand; dairy and agriculture; education; Maori education; social work; and the community.

    Image Gallery

    Faumuina Professor Fa'afetai Sopoaga, of Dunedin, CNZM for services to Pacific health and tertiary education
  • Investiture Ceremony, 5 May 2022 PM

    This afternoon Honours recipients were acknowledged for their services to paediatric and neonatal care; disabilities and the arts; the New Zealand Police;  the community; women's health; musical theatre; traffic safety; floristry; and the Melanesian community. 

    Image Gallery

    Dr Simon Rowley, of Auckland, CNZM for services to paediatric and neonatal care
    Superintendent Andy McGregor, of Papamoa, ONZM for services to the New Zealand Police and the community
  • Investiture Ceremony 5 May 2022 AM

    This morning's Honours recipients included three NZDF personnel who played pivotal roles in New Zealand's response to COVID-19: Air Commodore Darryn Webb, MNZM for services to the New Zealand Defence Force; Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Blythen, DSD for services to the NZDF; and Wing Commander Richard Deihl, DSD for services to the NZDF.

    Congratulations to all eleven recipients at this morning's investiture ceremony.

    Image Gallery

    Air Commodore Darren Webb, MNZM
    Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Blythen, DSD for services to the New Zealand Defence Force
  • Wellington Investiture 4 May 2022 PM

    Nine recipients were honoured today at Government House, including Sir Robert ‘Bom’ Gillies; the last surviving member of the Māori Battalion. Sir Robert served in B company during World War 2, and has been active in representing the Battalion at official commemorations ever since.

    Dr Jonathan Godfrey received an ONZM for services to disabled people, particularly blind and low vision people. He is President of the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand and Senior Lecturer in Statistics at Massey University, mentoring blind students internationally in this subject area.

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    Dr Jonathan Godfrey, Dame Cindy Kiro


  • Wellington Investiture 3 May 2022 PM

    Former Director-General of the Department of Conservation, Lou Sanson, received his QSO this afternoon at Government House. One of his many achievements in his eight years at DOC was overseeing the Predator Free New Zealand Strategy. Also among this afternoon’s recipients was David Brunsdon, being honoured for services to engineering and emergency management. He was New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue's lead engineer following the Christchurch earthquakes. Other recipients were honoured for their contributions across the fields of agriculture, sport, healthcare, and music.

    Mr Lou Sanson, QSO, of Wanaka, for services to conservation and public service

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Wellington Investiture 3 May 2022 AM

    Eleven recipients were welcomed to Government House for their investiture this morning including former National President of New Zealand Red Cross, Dr Jenny McMahon. Dr McMahon was honoured for her work with the aid organisation, who she first became involved with in 1983.

    Receiving today’s top honour was Professor Sir Jim Mann, who has pioneered research into non-communicable disease prevention and management for over 30 years. He was the inaugural director of Otago University’s Edgar National Centre for Diabetes and Obesity Research, which opened in 2004.

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    Dame Cindy Kiro Knights Professor Sir Jim Mann

  • Wellington Investiture 2 May 2022 PM

    Today, Dame Cindy presented Honours recipients with insignia recognising outstanding achievements and service. Eminent author Emeritus Professor Sir Vincent O'Sullivan received the accolade when he was re-designated from a DCNZM to a KNZM. Recipients were also recognised for their services to science, health, victims of family and sexual violence, the legal profession, conservation, Māori, inclusive education, the community and philanthropy.

    Professor Vincent O'Sullivan, KNZM, of Wellington, for services to literature

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Anzac Day 2022

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies started their Anzac Day by attending the Dawn Service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The service included performances by the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir, and readings by Air Marshal Kevin Short, Chief of Defence Force, and BJ Clark, President of the RNZRSA. Following the service, Their Excellencies went for coffee and Anzac biscuits at Mt Cook School, where they were pleased to meet a number of veterans who were in attendance, as well as Willie Apiata VC.

    Dame Cindy delivering the Dawn Service Address

    Following the Dawn Service earlier this morning, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies attended the Anzac Day National Service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The Service began with a flypast from three T6-C Texan aircraft, and featured performances from the New Zealand Youth Choir.

    Dame Cindy Kiro and Dr Richard Davies lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior

    You can find more images from the Dawn and National Commemoration Services, and Dame Cindy's Anzac Day addresses via the following links:

    Anzac Day 2022

    Anzac National Service gallery

    Dawn Service speech 

    National Service speech

  • Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei present Rūaumoko to Government House Auckland

    When Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei welcomed Dame Cindy and Dr Davies to Ōrākei Marae earlier this year, they presented Their Excellencies with a tukutuku panel that represents the maunga of Tāmaki Makaurau. Today, 'Rūaumoko' was unveiled in place in the Pavilion at Government House Auckland. The taonga takes its name from the Māori God of earthquakes and volcanoes.

    Government House Auckland is situated at the base of Maungawhau/Mount Eden, which is one of the many dormant volcanoes that make up the landscape of Auckland. 

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    Taiaha Hawke and Dame Cindy Kiro


  • Dinner with former Governors-General to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee

    In honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies welcomed some familiar faces back to Government House for a dinner on the 9th of April. Former Governors-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Sir Jerry Mateparae and Sir Anand Satyanand, along with Sir David Gascoigne, Lady Janine Mateparae and Lady Susan Satyanand, returned to Te Whare Kāwana o Te Whanganui-a-Tara for the occasion.
    When Queen Elizabeth II became New Zealand’s monarch in 1952, Lt Gen the Lord Freyberg was Governor-General. So far, during Her Majesty’s reign Aotearoa New Zealand has had 16 Governors-General.

    Dame Cindy Kiro and Dr Richard Davies, joined by Dame Patsy Reddy, Sir David Gascoigne, Sir Jerry and Lady Janine Mateparae, Sir Anand and Lady Susan Satyanand

  • Credentials Ceremonies

    Dame Cindy welcomed eight new diplomatic representatives to New Zealand today at Government House, with the return of full-scale credentials ceremonies.

    Presenting their letters of credence were: HE Mr Jose Emilio Bustinza Soto, Ambassador of the Republic of Peru; HE Dr Mohamed Said Khalifa Al Busaidi, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman; HE Mr Riadh Dridi, Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia; HE Dr Radu-Gabriel Safta, Ambassador of Romania; HE Mr Michel Goffin, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium; HE Mr Margers Krams, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia; and HE Mrs Dianela Joselina Pi Cedrés, Ambassador of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Dame Cindy also offically welcomed HE Ms Harinder Sidhu, the new High Commissioner of Australia.

    His Excellency Dr Mohamed Said Khalifa Al Busaidi, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman, with Her Excellency Dame Cindy Kiro

    You can find more photos from the ceremonies here:

    Credentials Ceremony 6 April 2022 AM

    Credentials Ceremony 6 April 2022 PM

  • ICC Women's World Cup reception

    This week the ICC Women's World Cup tournament is approaching its final stages. Dame Cindy and Dr Davies hosted Cup personnel and New Zealand team captain, Sophie Devine, at a reception at Government House, where Dame Cindy, Hon Grant Robertson and Rt Hon Trevor Mallard were presented with souvenir bats that had been signed by captains of the eight teams taking part in the tournament.

    Yesterday Dame Cindy went to one of the semi-final matches, between Australia and the West Indies, at the Basin Reserve.

    Speech transcript

    Liz Dawson and Dame Cindy with a souvenir bat signed by team captains
  • Visit to Auckland

    Dame Cindy recently spent the week in Auckland, meeting with some remarkable organisations and individuals supporting their communities and fellow New Zealanders.

    On Wednesday morning, Dame Cindy met with Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, who, among his many esteemed roles, leads Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures – an independent and apolitical think tank and research centre based at the University of Auckland. Koi Tū recently released a report on sustaining Aotearoa as a socially cohesive society. Dame Cindy also met with Dame Helen Winkelman, the Chief Justice, to discuss her inaugural report on the New Zealand courts' response to COVID-19.

    The following morning, Dame Cindy paid a visit to the to the SPCA Centre in Māngere, to meet the team of brilliant staff and volunteers, as well as a few of the furred and feathered residents. The SPCA is a charity committed to the welfare of New Zealand animals: from the prevention of cruelty and animal rescue, to sheltering and rehousing. The SPCA relies on the support of the New Zealand public and its network of dedicated volunteers, and works tirelessly on behalf on New Zealand's most vulnerable animals.

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies meet Collie, one of the newest additions to the centre

    Dame Cindy then visited Papatoetoe West School in Auckland, and got to see the Garden to Table programme in action. Garden to Table is a charitable trust which seeks to empower tamariki to grow, harvest, prepare, and share great food. Last year, more than 22,000 children across Aotearoa took part in the programme, spending more than 30,000 hours in the garden and kitchen, and eating more than 800,000 vegetable-based meals. 

    Dame Cindy getting a few pointers from one of the students

    In the evening, at Government House, Dame Cindy hosted the official launch of Multiethnic Young Leaders NZ – an organisation seeking to eliminate barriers for ethnic New Zealanders and tangata whenua entering leadership spaces. Through its work, MYLN hopes to unlock the full leadership potential of all young people in New Zealand.

    Dame Cindy in conversation with members of Multicultural Young Leaders NZ

    On Friday morning, Dame Cindy visited one of the TROW Group's projects in Glen Innes. TROW works to support a circular economy and create a more sustainable construction sector by repurposing over 90% of the materials it salvages. TROW also works closely with organisations such as the Tāmaki Regeneration Company, Tāmaki College, and the Fono, to improve social outcomes and enable community projects, both locally and in the Pacific. 

    Dame Cindy on a tour of the site with Saia Latu

    Dame Cindy completed the trip with meetings with Turuki Healthcare, and with the Tindall Foundation. Turuki Healthcare provides whānau-based health, wellness, and social services to people in South Auckland. TTF was founded by Sir Stephen and Lady Margaret Tindall, and works throughout New Zealand to help ensure families, communities, and the environment can thrive now and in the future. To date, TTF has given out more than $200 million to New Zealand communities, organisations, and charities.

    You can find more images of Dame Cindy's trip via the following links:

    Visit to the SPCA Centre in Māngere

    Visit to Papatoetoe West School

    Official launch of Multiethnic Young Leaders NZ

    Visit to a TROW Group project in Glen Innes

  • St John Investiture Service and Installation

    On Thursday, in a very special ceremony held at Government House Auckland, the Governor-General was invested as Dame of Justice of St John and installed as the Prior of St John, while Dr Davies was invested as an Officer of St John. 

    The investiture service for a new Prior would usually take place in the United Kingdom with the Duke of Gloucester in attendance. However, with Dame Cindy unable to travel overseas last year, this was the first time the service has taken place in New Zealand. The service included a karakia, short welcome and address by John Whitehead, Chancellor of St John, the investiture of both Dame Cindy and Dr Davies, followed by the installation of Dame Cindy.

    The Order of St John is an ancient, international organisation, which operates in New Zealand to meet the health and wellbeing needs of New Zealanders. St John comprises both a paid and volunteer workforce, and helps in areas as diverse as an emergency ambulance service, modern emergency call centre, medical alarms, first aid training and kits, health shuttle services, a youth programme, caring callers, hospital volunteers, opportunity shops, and pet therapy.

    The Prior is the head of the Order, and the role provides a unique opportunity for the Governor-General to be a part of one of the most respected and far-reaching organisations in New Zealand. Dr Davies will also serve St John as the Patron of Community Health Services.

    More photos

    Dame Cindy's speech transcipt

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies receiving their insignia

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