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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • Credentials ceremonies 30 June 2022

    Dame Cindy welcomed a further five new Ambassadors to New Zealand today: HE Ms Biljana Stefanovska-Sekovska, Ambassador of The Republic of North Macedonia; HE Mr Sinchai Manivanh, or of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic; HE Mr Davaasuren Damdinsuren, Ambassador of Mongolia; HE Mr Oscar Atehortua Duque, Ambassador of The Republic of Colombia; and HE Mr Rade Stefanovic, Ambassador of The Republic of Serbia. Members of the Royal New Zealand Navy once again provided the pōwhiri and Guard of Honour for the ceremony outside.

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    HE Mr Sinchai Manivanh greeting members of the Royal New Zealand Navy cultural party

    HE Mr Davaasuren Damdinsuren, Ambassador of Mongolia, and his family greeting Their Excellencies

  • Credentials ceremonies 29 June 2022

    Today, four new diplomatic representatives presented their credentials at Government House Wellington. Dame Cindy and Dr Davies welcomed HE Mr Daniel Rosa, Ambassador to the Republic of Angola; HE Mr Robert Pimentel, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic; HE Mrs Wassane Zailachi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco; and HE Ms Marie Monty, High Commissioner of the Republic of Mauritius. Representatives from the Royal New Zealand Navy provided the stunning pōwhiri and Guard of Honour.

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    Diplomatic staff, Mr Hamid Mernissi, HE Mrs Wassane Zailachi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, Dame Cindy Kiro, and Dr Richard Davies

    HE Ms Marie Monty inspecting the guard of honour

  • Founder Lecture 2022

    This evening at the National Library, Dame Cindy delivered the annual Founder Lecture, hosted by the Friends of the Turnbull Library. Her Excellency's lecture was entitled, 'Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua: Approaching our past with curiosity and courage', and focussed on New Zealand's relationship with its past, and the important role of the Turnbull Library in that relationship. In delivering the Founder Lecture, Dame Cindy joins an esteemed list of New Zealand academics, leaders, and artists, including Dame Anne Salmond, CK Stead, and Dr Ranginui Walker.

    'The Turnbull Library helps New Zealanders to do that precious and ineffable and most human of things: it helps us to remember.'

    Dame Cindy delivering the Founder Lecture

    You can read the full lecture here.

  • A message for the United Nations Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032)

    Ko tōku reo tōku ohooho, ko tōku reo tōku māpihi maurea
    My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul

    2022 marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade of Indigenous Languages, which recognises the right to revitalise and promote languages, and linguistic diversity around the world.

    Many indigenous languages are in a critical state. This initiative aims to help the global community work together to preserve these languages for generations to come.

    In these messages, Dame Cindy Kiro (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu) and her Canadian counterpart Mary Simon (Inuk), speak about importance of te reo Māori and Inuit languages, and the efforts to revitalise them in Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada. Governor-General Mary Simon's message will be released in the coming weeks.

    For more information about the New Zealand National Commission and their work on indigenous language and knowledge, click here.

  • Matariki Dinner with the Diplomatic Corps

    Last night at Government House Wellington, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies hosted the Diplomatic Corps for a very special Matariki Dinner, to mark the first time that New Zealand has observed Matariki as a public holiday. The mid-winter reappearance of the Matariki star cluster signals the start of the Māori New Year, and with it, a period of remembrance, reflection, and celebration.

    ‘I encourage you all to look up into the early morning sky, as our ancestors did, and to see those stars with that same sense of wonder and faith.’

    Mānawatia a Matariki!

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies entering the ballroom

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

  • He Wahine Maori Ahau

    He Wahine Maori Ahau is an inspirational speaker series focussing on the experience of Wahine Maori in the Public Service. The topic of yesterday's forum at the National Library was 'The Impact of the past on women today'. Dame Cindy was welcomed with a powhiri before being joined on the podium by senior public servants Heather Baggott, Deputy Public Service Commissioner; and Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, Deputy Secretary Tūmatakōkiri at the Ministry for the Environment. A common theme in all their korero was the enduring influence of significant women in their formative years, and their ongoing responsibility to support the growth of future leaders. Dame Cindy also took the opportunity to visit He Tohu, where she was delighted to discern the signatures of her tipuna on the parchment Tiriti o Waitangi, signed on 6 February 1840 in Waitangi.

    Speech transcript

  • Visit to the Compassion Soup Kitchen

    Today marks Suzanne Aubert's 187th birthday. Mother Aubert devoted her life to looking after those in need, and founded the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion. Last night, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies visited the Compassion Soup Kitchen in Wellington, to help with the dinner service for Mother Aubert's birthday. The Compassion Soup Kitchen continues Mother Aubert's remarkable legacy by supporting people in need in our community, including those struggling with mental health issues, addiction, homelessness, and poverty.

    Dr Davies and Dame Cindy serving from the kitchen

    You can find more images from the visit here.

  • Japan Festival

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies attended the Japan Festival in Wellington yesterday – a very special event that also marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and New Zealand. This biennial celebration of Japanese culture featured musical performances, two giant kimono, and a range of Japanese cuisine.

    Thousands of Wellingtonians turned out for the event, also attended by His Excellency Mr Koichi Ito, Japanese Ambassador to New Zealand, His Worship Andy Foster, Mayor of Wellington, and of course, the Zespri Kiwi Brothers. Congratulations to the Japan Festival Wellington Trust, Wellington City Council, and Japanese Embassy on a hugely successful festival.

    Dame Cindy and Ms Misako Ito

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

  • NZTrio 20th anniversary concert

    Last night's concert by NZTrio marked the 20th year since it was formed. The current line-up of Ashley Brown, Amalia Hall and Somi Kim gave an exquisite performance of classic and contemporary music.

    Speech transcript

  • Appointment of Minister and Allocation of Portfolios

    This afternoon at Government House Wellington, Dame Cindy authorised the appointment of Hon Kieran McAnulty to the Executive Council, as well as the appointment of Ministers to their new portfolios, on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    Minister McAnulty was joined by his family for the very special ceremony, which was also attended by Hon Kelvin Davis and Hon Kiri Allan.

    Hon Kieran McAnulty, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Mr Michael Webster, Dame Cindy, Hon Kelvin Davis, and Hon Kiri Allan

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Auckland Justices of the Peace Association 100 years afternoon tea

    There’s an old saying that goes “if you want something done, ask a busy person”. This afternoon, Dame Cindy hosted a group that truly embodies that phrase - the Auckland Justices of the Peace Association. This year marks the Centenary of the AJAP, who have been voluntarily assisting the people of Tāmaki Makaurau since October 1922. The role of a Justice of the Peace can be Ministerial or Judicial, with duties ranging from certifying documents to issuing search warrants. The AJAP currently has 1200 sworn JPs and are able to help in over 30 languages.

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    Dame Cindy Kiro with Frank Rands, Sherryl Wilson and Ginny Radford

  • Gunners Day dinner 2022

    To (belatedly) celebrate Gunners Day, Dame Cindy hosted a dinner for the Royal New Zealand Artillery Association at Government House Auckland. The RNZAA was formed in 1934 by World War I veterans, and continues as an advocacy group for New Zealand Gunners past and present.

    During the dinner, Dame Cindy presented Lt Col (Rtd.) Tony McLeod with a pounamu, thanking him for his 11 years served as President of the RNZAA. Lt Col McLeod is no stranger to Government House, having served as aide-de-Camp to former Governor-General Sir Keith Holyoake back in the 70s.

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    Dame Cindy presents Lt Col (Rtd) Tony McLeod with a pounamu

  • Vision Bus Aotearoa

    This afternoon, Dame Cindy officially opened Vision Bus Aotearoa; University of Auckland - Waipapa Taumata Rau's initiative to help solve inequities and barriers of access in getting better eye health to those in need. The School of Optometry and Vision Science had been screening the vision of thousands of school children in the greater Auckland area, and found one in ten had a vision impairment that was not yet being treated. With the help of this new mobile optometry clinic, the School has the ability to provide a wider range of free eye-health services to more people.

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    Dame Cindy Kiro with Auckland University Executive leadership and benefactors of Vision Bus

  • HM Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London

    To celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies travelled to the United Kingdom to represent Aotearoa at the official celebrations. The trip began with a meeting with New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, HE Mr Bede Corry.

    Next was Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. This event was attended by members of the Royal family, dignitaries and representatives from the Commonwealth. The Service was followed by a reception hosted by Lord Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

    On the 4th of June, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies attended the Platinum Jubilee Reception and Concert, featuring projections on the side of Buckingham palace and an impressive drone diplay lighting up the sky in many forms (including Corgis, naturally).

    The following day, Their Excellencies watched as members of the New Zealand Defence Force marched in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant. The Pageant was a four-part story of The Queen’s 70-year reign.

    While in the UK, Dame Cindy had the chance to meet with other Governors-General from around the Commonwealth. She held bilateral meetings with HE Gen the Hon David Hurley, Governor-General of Australia; HE Mary Simon, Governor-General of Canada; HE Dame Froyla Tzalam, Governor-General of Belize; and HE the Hon Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae, Governor-General of Papua New Guinea.

    Dame Cindy and Mary Simon host a bilateral between New Zealand and Canada

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  • The Administrator attends the Service of Celebration for the Platinum Jubilee

    To celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a Service of Celebration was held at the Cathedral of St Paul in Wellington this morning. The Administrator of the Government Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann attended in place of Dame Cindy, who is in London for the Jubilee celebrations.

    The service featured reflections about Her Majesty from former deputy prime minister and secretary-general of the Commonwealth, Sir Don McKinnon, and Queen’s Young Leader award winner Ezekiel Raui.

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    Dame Helen Winkelmann speaks

  • Investiture Ceremony 30 May 2022 pm

    Today was the final day of the Auckland investiture round. The eight recipients of honours this afternoon were acknowledged for their services to the State and the community, education and historical research,  governance and education, philanthropy, public health nursing, disability and education, community and charity fundraising and performing arts governance.

    Congratulations to Dame Marie Shroff and the other recipients.

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    Dame Marie Shroff
  • Investiture Ceremony 30 May 2022 am

    This morning's six recipients of honours insignia at Government House included Dr Geoff Lorigan, CNZM, who was acknowledged for his work in strategic development, academia and business. Sporting prowess featured in the careers of two recipients: Jane Tehira, ONZM who was a representative player in three different sporting codes and a member of the women's rugby team that won the 1949 Te Rarawa Challenge Cup; and Jim McPhee, who represented New Zealand in judo at Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

    Image Gallery

    Dr Geoff Lorigan, of Auckland, CNZM for services to business and leadership development
    Ms Jane Tehira, of Auckland, ONZM for services to sport
  • Reception for the Himalayan Trust on Everest Day

    Tonight’s reception for the Himalayan Trust at Government House Auckland celebrated Everest Day – 29 May 2022 is the 69th anniversary of the historic conquest of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. It was just as much about Sir Ed's wonderful legacy - the Himalayan Trust. Peter Hillary reminded us how perfect our timing was, as his speech coincided with the moment when his father reached the summit. Ang Kaji Sherpa spoke about the education he received at one of the many schools built by Sir Ed, which then enabled him to pursue training as a mountain guide in the Himalayas. Sir Ed's Himialayan Trust has transformed communities with its ambitious programme of building schools and hospitals in the Solukhumbu Everest region.

    Speech transcript

  • Dr Davies' patronage of St John's community programmes

    On 15 March, His Excellency Dr Richard Davies was invested as an Officer of St John and took up the role of Patron for Community Health.

    Last week, St John hosted Dr Davies to a comprehensive induction tour, including its Community Health programmes and services. Dr Davies visited Farm Cove Intermediate to see St John's Whatuia te Waiora Weaving Wellbeing programme in action, before going to St John retail stores and a Manukau Area Committee showcase. The Kelston Youth Division enabled Dr Davies to see youth members undertaking badge work and practical sessions and present a number of awards. Dr Davies also boarded a Health Shuttle and met the shuttle volunteers.

    At St John Archives Dr Davies learnt about the history of St John and the variety of Community Care services that St John delivers to the community, and the impact of COVID-19 on those services.  The Therapy Pet volunteers and their furry friends were a particular hit with Dr Davies. St John's Communications Centre provided an opportunity for him to see the sophistacated communication technology used in emergency response.


    Dr Davies' visit to St John archives
  • Auckland Investiture 28 May 2022 PM

    At this afternoon’s investiture ceremony, eight honours recipients received their insignia. They included Maxine Shortland, who has contributed 40 years to Netball as a player, coach, manager and administrator. Her governance roles in Northland have included Chief Operating Officer at Ngati Hine Health Trust.

    Heather Tanguay received a QSO for services to local government and the community. She was recognised for her time as Mayor and City Councillor in Palmerston North. Through her work with Palmerston North Red Cross, she helped settle hundreds of refugees into the area.

    Image Gallery

    Mrs Heather Tanguay, of Auckland, for services to local government and the community
  • Investiture Ceremony 28 May 2022 am

    This morning's eight honours recipients included Sir Wayne Shelford KNZM, former All Black Captain and men's health advocate, and Rawiri Paratene, who received his CNZM for his services to Maori, film and theatre. Recipients were acknowledged for outstanding services to local government and the community, race relations and youth, to mental health, transitional housing, and as a General Practitioner.

    Image Gallery


  • 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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