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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • Auckland Grammar 150th Commemorations

    Yesterday, Dame Patsy and Sir David attended two of Auckland Grammar's 27 events to mark the school's first 150 years. At a special assembly, Dame Patsy noted the long-standing association with the office of Governor and Governor-General, beginning with Sir George Grey's 1850 endowment to establish a grammar school. Their Excellencies then attended a cocktail function in an enormous marquee on the grounds, along with decades of Auckland Grammar Old Boys.

    Speech transcript

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    Principal Tim O'Connor escorting Dame Patsy and Sir David to the evening event
  • St Cuthbert's scholars assembly

    Today it seemed like all the students at St Cuthbert's turned out to welcome Dame Patsy when she arrived at the school. The younger students waved flags that they had made to symbolise love and diversity, the senior girls performed a haka, and then Dame Patsy addressed a scholar's assembly, where high achieving senior students received awards.

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    Speech Transcript

  • Investiture Auckland Thursday 16 May 2019

    Congratulations to all today's recipients for their work in human rights, design and business, rugby and rugby league, the LGBTIQ+ community, fashion, Cook Islands art and culture, athletics, and education. 

  • Auckland Investitures Wed 15 May

    Two more investiture ceremonies were held at Government House today.

    The morning saw  the arts, sport and science mix together with Dame Gaylene Preston, Dan Carter, Lydia Ko, Barbara Kendall and Glen Ashby receiving their insignia.

    The afternoon saw people honoured for services to Plunket, the State, governance, football, aviation, seniors, Maori health and development, children with genetic immune deficiency disorders, Asian communities and youth.

    Wednesday morning ceremony

    Wednesday afternoon ceremony

     

  • Investiture Ceremonies 14 May 2019

    Two knighthoods were conferred at today's ceremonies at Government House Auckland. Sir Stephen Tindall's knighthood was elevated to a GNZM and Sir Rob McLeod received his KNZM for services to business and Maori. Carmel Fisher, of Fisher Funds Management received a CNZM and Barbara Chapman, former CE of ASB, received her CNZM for services to business. Rob Tapert, producer of 'Hercules' and 'Xena Warrior Princess' received his ONZM for services to the film and television industries.

    Image Gallery AM Ceremony

    Image Gallery PM Ceremony

  • Investiture Thursday 2 May, Morning

    Congratulations to the 17 New Zealanders who received their insignia at an investiture at Government House in Wellington this morning

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    Scroll down to view video 

    Image of recipients with Dame Patsy and Sir David

  • Investiture Wednesday 1 May, Afternoon

    Congratulations to the 17 New Zealanders recognised at Government House today for their contributions to Maori carving and bone art, business,environmental resource management, conservation, basketball, science education, tourism and heritage preservation, highland dancing, television and theatre, education, seabird conservation, their communities, sport, the Girls Brigade, outdoor education, ethnic communities and dentistry.

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    Scroll down to see video of the ceremony

    Image of Wed 1 May Afternoon Investiture recipients

  • Investiture Ceremonies, Wednesday 1 May, 2019

    Outstanding contributions to areas as diverse as health, documentary film-making, science, history, refugee communities, optometry, conservation, water management, karate, and the arts and broadcasting were recognised at this morning's investiture ceremony.

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    Scroll down to see video of the ceremony.

    Their Excellencies with the Honours recipients
  • Investiture ceremony, 30 April, 2019 PM

    17 New Zealanders received the insignia  this afternoon's investiture ceremony at Government House in Wellington. Amongst the recipients - Sir Kim Workman for services to prisoner welfare and the justice sector; Terry McTavish of Dunedin for services to theatre and education and the late Georgina Salter for her contribution to netball.

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    Scroll down to see video of the ceremony

    Image of Kim Workman, of Levin, KNZM, for services to prisoner welfare and the justice sector

  • Investiture Ceremony, 30 April, 2019 AM

    The 12 recipients at this morning's investiture ceremony included retired Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Timothy Keating, CNZM, and Fire Service, Police, Defence and Coastguard personnel. Vivien Leachman received the insignia for the late Mr Andrew Leachman, whose maritime skills and navigation were invaluable to scientific research, and access to Antarctic waters.

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    Dame Patsy and Sir David with recipients
  • Investiture Ceremony, 29 April 2019

    Our first investiture ceremony for 17 recipients of New Year Honours was held at Government House this morning. They included New Zealand's longest serving mayor, Sir Tim Shadbolt, KNZM; Professor Peter Crampton, CNZM of Dunedin, acknowledged for his contribution to health care; and Maryanne Tipler, ONZM, who is New Zealand's leading author of mathematical textbooks.  

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    Scroll down to watch video of the ceremony

    Dame Patsy and Sir David with investiture recipients
  • Anzac Day 2019

    Dame Patsy began Anzac Day by giving the Anzac Address at the Dawn Service at Pukeahu National War Memorial. She also laid a wreath alongside HE the Hon Patricia Forsythe, High Commissioner of Australia and He Ahmet Ergin, the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey.

    Dame Patsy and Sir David then attended the National Commemoration at Pukeahu later in the morning, where Dame Patsy and Hon Grant Robertson spoke.  The Service included readings by youth representatives from New Zealand, Australia and Turkey. The Air Force Band and the Supertonic Choir provided a moving backdrop during the wreath-laying ceremony. 

    Anzac Address

    Image Gallery for National Commemoration

    Dawn Service Speech given by Dame Patsy

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    Image of Dame Patsy speaking at the Anzac Day Dawn Service

    Image of wreaths laid by the Australian High Commissioner, Dame Patsy and the Turkish Ambassador

  • Credentials at Government House

    Today we had perfect autumn weather for the powhiri and military parade associated with our credentials ceremonies. This morning Dame Patsy received the credentials of new Heads of Diplomatic Mission to New Zealand: HE Mr Javier Augusto Prado Miranda, Ambassador of the Republic of Peru; HE Mr Zakaria Ahmad, High Commissioner of Brunei Darussalam; HE Mr Antonio Pedro da Vinha Rodrigues da Silva, Ambassador of the Portuguese Republic; and HE Major General (Rtd) Lineo Bernard Poopa, High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

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    HE Mr Javier Augusto Prado Miranda inspecting the Guard of the Honour

    This afternoon it was the turn of the Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia, HE Ms Betty Pavelich Sirois and Ambassador of the Czech Republic, HE Mr Tomáš Dub.    

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    Image of Ambassador of the Czech Republic HE Mr Tomáš Dub with kaumatua Prof Piri Sciascia

  • Terracotta Warriors and Royal Assent

    On Thursday Dame Patsy and Sir David visited Te Papa for the Terrcotta warriors exhibition. They were also lucky enough to visit Te Papa's stacks and see some of the treasures stored there.

    Image of Te Papa Head of Art, Charlotte Davy escorting Dame Patsy and Sir David into the stacks

    Later that day, Dame Patsy gave the Royal Assent to the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Act in the Council Room at Government House.

    Image of Dame Patsy and Deputy Clerk of the House, Suze Jones at the signing of the Arms Amendment Act

  • Reception for the Child Cancer Foundation

    This afternoon, Dame Patsy hosted a reception for the Child Cancer Foundation, to honour Pat Wilkes with a Life Membership of the Foundation, in recognition of twenty years of selfless service to young cancer patients and their families.

    Speech transcript                                        Image Gallery

    Pat Wilkes, Kathie Wilkes, Dame Patsy and Eilish Wilkes
  • Visit to Queenstown and Wanaka

    Dame Patsy and Sir David spent a couple of days in the Southern Lakes last week. The focus of their visit was innovation in the arts, tourism and sustainability.

    Day One saw the Dame Patsy attending the Festival of Colour. Based in Wanaka,with satellite performances all around the Central Otago area, the Festival takes place every two years, offering a varied programme of arts events.

    While in Wanaka, Dame Patsy introduced a performance by Jordy Savall and then dropped in on a rehearsal of “Permission to Speak”, a theatrical work featuring Mount Aspiring College students.

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    Festival of Colour speech

    Image of Dame Patsy, Sir David and cast in a discussion group

    On Monday 1 April, Their Excellencies began the day at The Hills Golf Club with a tour of the sculpture collection. From there they travelled to Shotover Jet for a briefing on tourism and sustainability.

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    Image of Dame Patsy with kaumatua Michael Skerrett

    The final day of the visit saw the couple tour Arrowtown’s historic Chinese settlement before receiving a briefing on the wilding pine situation from DOC. The wilding pine theme continued at  New Zealand Essential Oils/aoTERRA, where wilding pines are being used to manufacture essential oils. The last event was a trip to Camp Glenorchy to find out more about the eco- retreat’s sustainability focus.

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    Image of Dame Patsy outside Ah Lum's Store

  • In Christchurch, for the National Remembrance Service

    Before the National Remembrance Ceremony yesterday, Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a breakfast  for the Australian official delegation, the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove; Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mrs Jennifer Morrison; and Hon Bill Shorten and Mrs Chloe Shorten. Hon Dr Megan Woods also attended the breakfast.

    After the service, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel hosted a reception where Dame Patsy met members of the Muslim community, members of the Diplomatic Corps, international visitors and first responders on 15 March.

    Dame Patsy and Sir David then hosted a lunch for Pacific leaders: President Jioji Konrote and Madam Sarote Faga Konrote of Fiji ; Prime Minister Henry Puna and Mrs Akaiti Puna of the Cook Islands; His Highness Afioga Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi ll and Her Highness Masiofo Faamausili Leinafo Tuimaleali’ifano of Samoa; Mr Gaston Tong Sang, President of the Assembly of French Polynesia; and Hon Kelihiano Kalolo and Mrs Atene Kalolo of Tokelau. 

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  • National Remembrance Day in Christchurch

    Two weeks after a terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, where 50 worshippers lost their lives and many more were injured, today's National Remembrance Service brought together the wounded and survivors of the attack, along with citizens of Christchurch, members of the Diplomatic Corps, and dignitaries from the Pacific and beyond. The names of the dead were read by members of the Muslim community and the healing power of music and words affirmed the overwhelming message of love, peace and harmony.

    Speech transcript              Image Gallery

    Dame Patsy and the Prime Minister speaking to members of the Muslim community
    Farid Ahmed, a survivor of the terrorist attack
  • Messages for Christchurch

    Dame Patsy has received numerous letters and messages from Heads of State, foreign dignitaries and organisations in the days following the Christchurch shootings. Here is a selection for you to read.

    Messages 1

    Messages 2

    Messages 3

    Messages 4

    Snapshot of a message from Pope Francis

  • Farewell call from the Ambassador of Iran

    Dame Patsy and Sir David received a farewell call from the Ambassador of Iran, HE Mr Jalaladdin Namini Mianji and Mrs Fatemeh Namini Mianji at Government House in Wellington.

  • Dinner for the King and Queen of Tonga

    Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a dinner on the Norrie Dining Room for His Majesty King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga and Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau’u.

    Both Dame Patsy and the King spoke of New Zealand's close relationship with Tonga and the contribution Tongans have made to New Zealand life.

    IMage of Dame Patsy and Sir David with His Majesty King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga and Her Majesty Queen Nanasipau’u

    IMage of Dame Patsy speaking at the dinner for the King and Queen of Tonga

  • Welcome for HM King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga and HM Queen Nanasipau'u

    This morning, Dame Patsy and Sir David welcomed HM King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga and HM Queen Nanasipau'u. Their Majesties are making an official visit to New Zealand.

    The Royal couple were not deterred by the blustery Wellington weather, which saw the Guard of Honour and RNZAF band moved indoors.

    Dame Patsy thanked the King for the response of the Tongan people, who expressed their condolences and held prayer vigils in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

    The KIng and Queen will also attend an official dinner at Government House this evening.

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    Image of Dame Patsy reddy and Sir David Gascoigne with HM King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga and HM Queen Nanasipau'u

  • Visit to Kapiti College

    This afternoon, one week after the killing of 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealanders gathered in our towns and cities to observe two minutes' silence.

    For that moment, Dame Patsy and Sir David chose to be with 1500 school students on the Kapiti Coast. First they heard the soaring notes of the Muslim call to prayer. After the two minutes' silence, there was a mass haka by the students.

    Dame Patsy addressed the students, noting that coming together in this way helped to affirm the values that we hold dear: tolerance, inclusion and kindness.

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    Dame Patsy addressing the students at Kapiti College
    Some of the 1500 students performing a mass haka
  • Visit by HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan

    HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan called on Dame Patsy to offer the condolences of the people of Jordan to New Zealanders in the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

    The Prince, who was accompanied by his daughter HRH Princess Rahma bint El Hassan and grandson HE Tariq Masser Judeh, opened his remarks with a message in Maori, to the obvious delight of Dame Patsy.

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    Image of Prince Hassan speaking

    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, his daughter HRH Princess Rahma bint El Hassan and grandson HE Tariq Masser Judeh

     

     

  • Dinner for Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence

    Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence is Vice President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which is responsible for caring for the war graves of Commonwealth service personnel from the First and Second World Wars.

    During a visit to New Zealand, Sir Tim attended a dinner in his honour at Government House.

    Speech transcript

    Their Excellencies with the guests in honour of Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence
    Dame Patsy greeting Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence
  • Christchurch Visit Day Two

    The second day of Dame Patsy's visit to Christchurch began with a meeting with the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre. A more somber experience than Dame Patsy's last visit to the Centre, the meeting was a chance for members to talk about their sadness following the attacks and how it has affected them and their community. Image Gallery

    Dame Patsy then went to Hagley Park to lay flowers at the memorial that has sprung up there. While there she also spoke with overseas media and took the opportunity to chat with police and St John New Zealand staffers who were in the area.

    The Emerge Aotearoa choir was there, singing in tribute to the shooting victims and Dame Patsy stopped to listen, even joining in on Tutira Mai Nga Iwi. Image Gallery

    Image of Dame Patsy taking a moment after laying flowers

     

  • Christchurch Visit Day One

    Dame Patsy and Sir David travelled to Christchurch to pay their respects following the Christchurch mosque shootings.

    Dame Patsy's first meeting was with the Vice President of the Republic of Turkey, HE Fuat Oktay and Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who expressed their sympathy for the people of Christchurch and the local Muslim community. Image Gallery

    Image of Dame Patsy leading discussions with the Vice President of the Republic of Turkey, HE Fuat Oktay and Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

    Later Dame Patsy met with Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and rounded off the evening by catching up a group of St John New Zealand paramedics, who were on duty during the Christchurch attack. The team talked to Dame Patsy about their experiences on the ground in a dangerous situation and how they respond to large scale emergencies Image Gallery

    Image of Dame Patsy, Sir David and Mayor of Christchurch, Lianne Dalziell

     

     

  • Wellington Vigil For Christchurch

    Thousands of Wellingtonians attended the Vigil For Christchurch at the Basin Reserve this evening.

    There were tears as people spoke of their feelings of loss and devastation and cheers as others spoke of what they would like to see happen to prevent extremist attacks happening again.

    The event finished with a moving rendition of Te Aroha and one minutes silence, after which a fierce, impromptu haka broke out in the crowd. 

    Dame Patsy's speech

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  • Visit to Kilbirnie Mosque

    This afternoon Dame Patsy and Sir David visited Kilbirnie Mosque. Dame Patsy added flowers to the many hundreds of floral tributes already in place and met with Tahir Nawaz, President of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand and other members of Wellington's Muslim community.

    As well as expressing her condolences to the Muslim community, Dame Patsy and Mr Nawaz talked about subjects ranging from tolerance, the role of social media and how we move forward together following the Christchurch attacks.

    Photo gallery

  • Message from King Abdullah of Jordan

    Dame Patsy has received a telephone call from King Abdullah of Jordan. 

    He expressed his deepest sympathy and his strong support for NZ and NZers. He offered whatever assistance we need to deal with the tragedy. 

    He fondly remembers his recent visit to NZ and hopes we will meet again in happier circumstances. 

    Preparing to inspect the Honour Guard.


     

  • Message from the Governor of New South Wales

    Message from the Governor of New South Wales and Governor-General Designate of Australia, General The Hon David Hurley.

    " Your Excellency,

    On behalf of the people of New South Wales, I write to express my sincere condolences over the tragic events that have taken place in Christchurch today.

    The crime is heinous - an act of violence in a place of faith carries with it a particular element of horror. For this outragous act to have taken place in a city that has faced wide scale loss and grief over recent years, is even more heartbreaking.

    We stand alongside you and the victims and indeed the nation of New Zealand as you oppose such violence and hatred.

    General The Hon David Hurley AC,DSC (Ret'd)

    Governor of New South Wales

    Message from the Governor of New South Wales

  • Message from the Commonwealth Secretary-General

    Baroness Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary-General shared the following message on the secretariat's website following the Christchurch mosque shootings: 

    On behalf of the Commonwealth family I convey my deepest sympathy to the people of New Zealand and to all those directly affected by the appalling acts of hate-fuelled violence that have been inflicted on the community in Christchurch.

    “It is particularly shocking that such an attack should take place in houses of prayer, and our thoughts are with the families and others close to those who have been killed, or are casualties and suffering physical or mental distress. We salute the emergency services and all who are working to deal with the aftermath of this outrage.

    “The people and nations of the Commonwealth, including New Zealand, work together to bring understanding and cohesion. And we will not be swayed from our collaboration and determination to build peace and understanding, and to counter violent extremism and hatred in all their forms and from whichever quarter they come.”

    Image of Dame Patsy and Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland

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