Yesterday Dame Cindy hosted two events at Government House to celebrate Commonwealth Day 2022. The New Zealand Olympic Committee and guests attended a morning reception where NZOC Kuia Ranui Ngarimu and Kaumatua Ta Derek Lardelli presented Poupekapeka, a magnificent pounamu brooch to Dame Cindy, in recognition of her role as Patron. The Queen's Baton was then presented to Dame Cindy by Nigel Avery, New Zealand's Chef de Mission for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games; Olympic swimmer Lewis Clareburt; and former Olympic heptathlete Sarah Cowley Ross.
In the evening, Dame Cindy hosted a Commonwealth Day celebration that featured a military trumpet fanfare; Dame Cindy delivering Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Commonwealth Day message; a speech from the Prime Minister, delivered by Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Minister for Youth; a speech by Kaya Selby, Commonwealth Youth New Zealand representative; Indian classical dance; and reflections from interfaith representatives. There were uplifting moments in the messages of collaboration, connection, friendship and peace and the opportunity for guests to hold the Queen's Baton were a symbolic reminder of the Commonwealth ties between nearly one third of the world's peoples.