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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • Auckland Investitures - Friday 12 October

    Netballer Tracey Fear, ONZM and historian and novelist Dr Deborah Challinor, MNZM, were among the 12 recipients who received honours at Government House Auckland this morning.

    Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with honour recipients
  • Auckland investitures - Thursday 11 October PM

    This afternoon twelve deserving honour recipients were presented with their insignia for outstanding services to tourism, business, Maori, health, conservation, music, equestrian sport, children and art, the horse racing industry, the Japanese community, people with disabilities, music, and the Pacific community.

    Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with the honour recipients
  • Auckland Investitures - Thursday 11 October AM

    Congratulations to Sir John Rowles who receved the insignia of a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit at Government House in Auckland today. Sir John was honoured for services to entertainment and was one of 12 New Zealanders who were acknowledged, variously, for their service to Maori, the State, local government, the community, Paralympic sport, hockey, film television and media technology, the cheese industry, conservation, the Samoan community, the arts, education and Chinese culture.

    Photos of all recipients

    Image of Sir John Rowles, of Auckland, KNZM, for services to entertainment

  • Auckland Investitures - Wednesday 10 October AM

    Yachtsmen Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and our newest Dame, Emeritus Professor Dame Charmian O'Connor were among the 13 New Zealanders who were honoured for their contributions in education, chemistry, children's health, sailing, contemporary dance, special education, performing arts, youth, disabilities, science education, sport, Maori, philanthropy and the Asian communities at Government House in Auckland today.

    Image gallery

    Image of Peter Burling, of Tauranga, MNZM, for services to sailing  

    Image of Blair Tuke, of Auckland, MNZM, for services to sailing

    Image of Dame Charmian, wearing the korowai 'Kahurangi'

  • Auckland Investitures - Tuesday 9 October, PM

    The outstanding achievements, service and contributions of twelve people were recognised at this afternoon's investiture ceremony at Government House Auckland, including Robert Kerridge, ONZM, long associated with the promotion of animal welfare; Geoffrey Blanks, ONZM, who has promoted  the development of live comedy performance in New Zealand; Faye Sumner, CNZM for her roles in the medical technology sector and Leanne Graham, MNZM for her achievements in the software industry.

    Image Gallery

  • Auckland Investitures - Tuesday 9 October AM

    Hip-hop pioneer DJ Sir-Vere and Black Fern Fiaoo Faamausili were amongst those acknowledged for their acheivements at Government House in Auckland today . Congratulations to all today's recipients.

    Investiture images

    Image of Philip Bell - DJ Sir-Vere - of Auckland, ONZM, for services to music

    Image of  Fiao’o Faamausili, of Auckland, ONZM, for services to rugby

  • Auckland Investitures- Monday 8 October PM

    Congratulations to the 12 amazing New Zealand women who received the insignia of their orders today at a special ceremony celebrating Suffrage 125 at Government House in Auckland.

    The Topp twins and singer Jackie Clark were honoured for their services to entertainment as were those who had made a significant contribution in the areas of health, sport, education and conservation.

    Photo gallery

    Image of Jacqueline Clarke, of Auckland, MNZM, for services to the entertainment industry

    Image of Dane Patsy with Dame Jools Topp and Dame Lynda Topp

  • The 2018 Halberg Games

    This afternoon Dame Patsy officially opened the 2018 Halberg Games, where 150 physically disabled and visually impaired young athletes have come together from around New Zealand to compete in 20 different sports. The Games will finish on Sunday.

    Speech transcript

    an image of -	Her Excellency, RT Hon Patsy Reddy and Halberg Youth Council member Victoria Baldwin officially opening the Games at the Halberg Games Opening Ceremony, King’s College Auckland
    an image of -	Shelley McMeeken, Victoria Baldwin, Thomas Chin, Holly Robinson, Her Excellency, Rt Hon Patsy Reddy, Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Hon Peeni Henare, Paul Tesoriero and Hon Carmel Sepuloni
  • 2019 Waitangi Day Garden Reception Ballot

    *** Update 8 October: The ballot has now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. We'll let everyone know whether they've been successful or not by November 1st. ***

    There are only a few days left to enter the ballot for invitations to next year's Waitangi Day Garden Reception.

    This year the venue is Government House in Wellington and we're looking forward to a wonderful afternoon, marking Waitangi Day with a large group of our fellow New Zealanders.

    Entries close Friday 5 October.

    Enter here

    Image of the crowd at the Bledisloe Reception 2015 Government House Wellington

  • Investiture Ceremony 27 September PM

    The final investiture ceremony for the week included honours for media personalities Richard Griffin and Grant Nisbett, and recognition for services to swimming, lifesaving, conservation, poetry and literature, musical play therapy, Maori and education, the Tokelauan Community, dentistry, the State, and rugby and historical research. Congratulations to all sixteen recipients for their well-deserved recognition.

    Image Gallery

    an image of Their Excellencies with the honours recipients
  • Wellington Investiture - Thursday 27 September AM

    Pacific Island leader Dame Winnie Laban, and Flying Nun records founder Roger Shepherd were amongst the 16 New Zealanders honoured for their work and community service this morning at Government House in Wellington.

    Image gallery

    Image of Dame Winnie Laban, wearing the korowai Kahurangi
    Image of  Roger Shepherd, of Wellington, ONZM, for services to the music industry

  • Wellington Investitures -Wednesday 26 September AM

    Representatives from our fire and emergency, police and defence force communities were amongst the 15 New Zealanders recognised for their service at this morning's investiture in Wellington.

    Michael Riley was also recognised for an act of exceptional bravery for his efforts in dealing with an armed gunman at a McDonald's store in Upper Hutt.

    Image gallery

    Image of    Michael Riley, NZBD, for an act of exceptional bravery in a situation of danger

  • Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards 2018

    Last Saturday night, New Zealand designers gathered to honour their peers at the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards. Dame Patsy presented the top award, the John Britten Black Pin to Rik Campbell and Steve Le Marquand, whose digital design company Resn has offices in New Zealand, the Netherlands and China, and has won over 250 international awards.

    Speech transcript           Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy with Rik Campbell and Steve Le Marquand, winners of John Britten Black Pin Awards
  • Wellington Investiture Tuesday 25 September PM

    The film, television, theatre and fashion worlds were well represented at this afternoon's investiture ceremony at Government House in Wellington. Film and television producers Larry Parr and Ainsley Gardiner, playwright and scriptwriter Briar Grace-Smith and NOM*d designer Margarita Robertson were amongst the 18 New Zealanders being honoured.

    Scroll down to see the ceremony video.

    Image gallery

    Image of Larry Parr, of Wellington, ONZM, for services to film and television

    Image of Ainsley Gardiner, of Whakatane, MNZM, for services to film and television

    Image of Briar Grace-Smith, of Paraparaumu, ONZM, for services to theatre, film and television

    Image of Margarita Robertson, of Dunedin, ONZM, for services to the fashion industry

  • Wellington Investiture Tuesday 25 September AM

    Sir William English was knighted this morning at Government House in Wellington. He was one of 15 New Zealanders who received their insignia from Dame Patsy. Congratulations to all this morning's recipients!

    Image gallery

    Image of Sir William English and Dame Patsy Reddy

    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with the recipients

  • Investiture Monday 24 September

    This evening 16 New Zealand women received their insignia from Dame Patsy at an investiture at Government House in Wellington. The all-women ceremony was held to acknowledge the acheivements of women in the 125 years since women's suffrage was granted.

    Amongst the recipients were sex workers' rights advocate Dame Catherine Healy, equal pay advocate Kristine Bartlett and food writer Annabel Langbein

    Image gallery

    Image of Dame Catherine wearing korowai Te Iti Kahurangi

    Image of Kristine Bartlett, of Lower Hutt, CNZM, for services to equal pay advocacy

    Image of Annabel Langbein, of Auckland, ONZM, for services as a food writer

  • ArtCrime2018: The Symposium

    There's a lot more to art crime than just stealing paintings. Looting, forgery, war crimes and the murky details of provenance were all on the agenda at ArtCrime2018:The Symposium in Wellington today. Dame Patsy opened the symposium and stayed on for the first two presentations - "Edward Bullmore's Icon No.3 and its Troubled Provenance" and "Toppled Trooper: the Fractured History of a NZ Wars Statue"

    Dame Patsy's speech

    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David  with Judge Arthur Tompkins, Chair of the NZ Art Crime Research Trust and Elizabeth Caldwell, Director, City Gallery

  • Suffrage 125

    Yesterday marked 125 years since the passing of the Electoral Act 1893, which enabled women to vote in Parliamentary elections for the first time.  To celebrate that victory, and New Zealand's pioneering role in women's suffrage, Dame Patsy hosted a morning tea for Maori Dames in Auckland, followed by a Government House Wellington dinner attended by half of New Zealand's living Dames, along with female members of the Order of New Zealand and female Chief Executives of government agencies. The guest speakers were the Government Science Adviser, Professor Juliet Gerrard, and Thomasin McKenzie, grand-daughter of one of the guests, Dame Kate Harcourt.

    Speech transcript       Image Gallery

  • Women's Suffrage

    This week we are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the passing of legislation which enabled New Zealand women to vote in Parliamentary elections. New Zealand led the world in this ground-breaking constitutional change, and in 1993, to mark the centenary, a special suffrage medal was awarded to 544 people who had contributed to women's empowerment in New Zealand. The list of recipients can be accessed at



  • Dress for Success Wellington

    Dress up was the theme for the Dress for Success Wellington reception, hosted by Dame Patsy at Government House in Wellington. Committed to empowering women find success, Dress For Success provides women with clothing and development tools to help them find jobs and keep them.

    Dress For Success client Rheanna Taylor Robertson spoke. There was also a fashion parade and unsurprisingly, a pop-up shop of gently used clothing proved popular.

    Image of Dame Patsy with Dress for Success board members and staff

  • Tuesday 11 September

    It was a case of hello and goodbye today at Government House. Coco watched on as Dame Patsy and Sir David welcomed the latest Matairangi Mahi Toi - Massey Artist in Residence to Government House. Horomona Horo is a Taonga Puoro composer and practitioner, who has collaborated with groups and artists from the NZ String Quartet to Fat Freddy’s Drop. We’re looking forward to hearing the work his time at Government House inspires.

    Image of Dame Patsy speaking

    Later,  the outgoing Ambassador of Portugal, Paulo Cunha Alves arrived for a farewell call. All the best for your new posting, Your Excellency

    Image of Ambassador of Portugal HE Paulo Cunha Alves with Dame Patsy


  • Women's Sport Leadership Academy

    Last night, Dame Patsy congratulated the New Zealand Olympic Committee for promoting leadership roles for women in New Zealand sports organisations. Seventeen of the first intake of the NZOC's Women's Sport Leadership Academy were presented with graduation certificates. 

    All of the women previously represented New Zealand at the Olympic Games and many of them are already involved in coaching, mentoring, and governance roles at national and international level.

    Speech transcript        Image Gallery

  • Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Young Science Leaders Forum

    Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Young Science Leaders Forum in association with the Eureka! Awards at Government House in Wellington.

    The young science leaders attending were challenged to examine a significant issue facing New Zealand and make recommendations. In this case, the issue was the "Agriculture Dilemma" - do we have the balance right between well-being, the environment and economic production and if not, what steps do we need to take to optimise that balance?

    Some fairly in-depth discussions took place, guided by advice from some top scientists and after lunch, the recommendations were reported back to Dame Patsy.

    She also presnted the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Premier Award to George Mander. 

    Photo gallery

    Image of Dame Patsy speaking

  • Visit to St John's Auckland headquarters

    We gained a new appreciation of St John's work today during our visit tuo its Auckland Headquarters. The call-centre staff have to respond calmly and clearly to people who are distressed, injured or ill, and the dispatchers have to monitor operations around the country. We also saw how much ambulances have evolved, and how their sophisticated medical and communications equipment is making a significant difference to patient outcomes.

    Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy and Sir David at the St John Headquarters garage
  • Consular Reception in Auckland

    Last night Dame Patsy hosted a reception for members of the Consular Corps in Auckland.

    Image Gallery

  • Northern Club Lunch

    Governors-General have a long association with the Northern Club and today Dame Patsy and Sir David were invited to a lunch where Dame Patsy spoke about her goals during her term of office and answered questions about our constitutional arrangements. Their host was Victoria Carter, the first ever female President at the Club.

    Speech transcript

  • 2018 White Camellia Awards

    Winners of the 2018 White Camellia Awards this evening were Westpac, ANZ, Sovereign and Ebborn Law. We were inspired by the determination and enthusiasm of the representatives from these organisations, and hope other organisations will follow their example.

    The White Camellia Awards are jointly run by UN Women, the Human Rights Commission, Diversity Works, BPW New Zealand and Zonta. Judges recognise businesses that are promoting gender equity by introducing measures that support the UN's Empowerment Principles; leadership promotes gender equality; equal opportunity, inclusion and non-discrimination; health, safety and freedom from violence; education and training; enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices; community leadership and engagement; and transparency, measuring and reporting. 

    Dr Jarrod Haar outlined some of the more significant conclusions from the UN Women's Empowerment Principles Survey 2018, which showed some gains, but areas where businesses are lagging behind.

    Speech transcript      Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy and the Westpac team
  • The Wallace Art Awards

    This is the 27th year of the Wallace Art Awards, and it's bigger than ever, attracting over 400 entries. The finalists' works are currently on display at Pah Homestead in Auckland, the home of the Wallace Arts Trust, and will then travel to selected galleries around New Zealand. Dame Patsy was on hand to congratulate the Award winners, some of whom will travel to Europe and the United States to take up residencies.

    Speech Transcript      Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy with Wallace Art Awards winners
  • Christchurch visits

    Dame Patsy made two visits to Christchurch this week. On Thursday, she visited Burnside High School in Christchurch for a tour of their art department and a chance to met the young people involved with 'Into Motion', a student initiative bringing together high school students from around Canterbury to discuss gender equality. In the afternoon, she was the opening speaker at the Canterbury Women’s Legal Association’s Professional Women’s Conference.


    On Saturday, Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted receptions for the Christchurch recipients of the Queen's Guide Award and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Aotearoa New Zealand- Hillary Gold Award at the Airforce Museum of New Zealand.


  • Credentials ceremonies

    Dame Patsy hosted credentials ceremonies for the diplomatic envoys from Russia, the Netherlands, Ireland, Pakistan and Laos at Government House in Wellington.

    Morning ceremonies

    Afternoon ceremonies 

    an image of Professor Piri Sciascia greeting HE Mr Peter Ryan, The Ambassador of Ireland

    Image of Ambassador of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, HE Mr Sisavath Inphachanh

  • Visit to Kaibosh in Wellington

    Yesterday Dame Patsy and Sir David paid a visit to Kaibosh Food Rescue, which collects and distributes food to over 65 charities around Wellington. The organisation's mantra of 'Zero Waste, Zero Poverty' is eliminating needless waste, providing nutritious food to people in need, and keeping tonnes of food out of our landfills. Over 200 volunteers give their time to keep the operation going.

    an image of Dame Patsy with Matt Dagger, General Manager
  • Queen's Guide Awards

    Comgratulations to the 45 young women who received their Queen's Guide awards at Government House at the weekend. Well done and best of luck for the future.

    Queen's Guide Award photos

    Image of the Queen's Guide award presentation in front of the portrait of the Queen

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