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.
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'.