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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • BGI Challenge for Change Graduation

    Mentors and mentees of the Boys and Girls Institute (BGI) took to the stage tonight at Government House to convey what the Challenge for Change programme has meant for them. Their presentations included some pretty slick videos, paintings, re-enactments and singing, and the mentors' comments showed that the experience was just as fulfilling for them as it was for their young charges. Proud parents and families, along with teachers and school principals were there to see the graduates receive a certificate and T-shirt from Justice Sir William Young, acting as Administrator during Dame Patsy's travel to Turkey.

    BGI has been working with young people in Wellington since 1883. The Challenge for Change programme brings volunteers and young people together on a personal development programme that is designed to develop confidence and self-esteem.

    an image of Justice Sir William Young, Lady Young and BGI mentors and mentees
    an image of a presentation by mentors and mentees of the programme
  • Heart Foundation 50th Anniversary Reception

    The Administrator Sir William Young officiated at the Heart Foundation's 50th Anniversary reception at Government House in Auckland

    Photos of the reception

    Image of the official party

  • 2018 Anzac Day National Commemorative Service at Pukeahu

    We were blessed with clear skies and warm breezes for the National Commemorative Service at Pukeahu this morning, where thousands of people gathered to pay their respects to all those New Zealanders who have served their country in times of war, and to pay homage to all those who lost their lives.

    The Honourable Justice Sir William Young is acting as Administrator for the Government while Dame Patsy is representing New Zealand at the Gallipoli commemorations. Sir William delivered the Anzac Address.

    Speech transcript

    Image gallery

    an image of The assembled crowd at Pukeahu, in front of the Australian Memorial
    an image of The Hon Justice Sir William Young speaking at the service
  • Message from the Governor-General on the birth of the Royal baby

    David and I are delighted to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the happy occasion of the birth of their third child.

    The addition of a new family member is a time of celebration and I am sure all New Zealanders extend their best wishes to the Duke and Duchess.

    We also acknowledge Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who as older brother and older sister will have a very special role to play in the life of the new Prince.



  • AMINZ Conference

    ICCA, a worldwide NGO dedicated to promoting and developing arbitration and international dispute resolution held its biannual conference in Sydney this week. The conference delegates then came to New Zealand to be hosted by AMINZ (Arbitrators' and Mediators' Institute of New Zealand) in Queenstown. Dame Patsy and Sir David accompanied over 100 international delegates to a dinner in Gibbston last night and Dame Patsy addressed them at the beginning of their conference programme this morning.

    Speech transcript

    Image gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy addressing the conference delegates
  • A bit of a catch-up!

    It's been a busy couple of months for Dame Patsy and Sir David. Here are some image galleries you may not have seen

    Obama visit

    AsiaNZ Foundation

    New Zealand Festival Patrons and Partners reception  

    Dame Patsy, Sir David and Barack Obama

    Image of Dame Patsy and New Zealand Festival Executive Director, Meg Williams

  • Commonwealth Games - Gold Coast 2018

    Dame Patsy and Sir David were delighted to be able to support the New Zealand team during their first few days of competition at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Highlights included being present for Sophie Pascoe's barnstorming Gold Medal swim. Away from the competition, Dame Patsy and Sir David were also delighted to catch up with HRH The Prince of Wales.

    More photos

    Image of Dame Patsy waving at  Sophie Pascoe after her gold medal win

    Image of Dame Patsy with HRH The Prince of Wales

  • Quinn's Post Trench Experience Opening

    Dame Patsy and Sir David were on hand for the opening of the new Quinn's Post Trench Expereince at the Great War Exhibition in Wellington. Dame Patsy did the honours in declaring the exhibit open before she and Sir David took in some of the exhibit.

    An immersive experience, the Experience was put together by Sir Peter Jackson and his team, who have recreated the terror, turmoil, shelling and smells of Quinn's Post in 1915.

    Event photos

    Dame Patsy's speech

    Image of Dame Patsy declaring the Quinn's Post Trench Experience open

    Image of Dame Patsy with Mark Hadlow, who plays Lt Col William Malone in the projected images used in the exhibit


  • New Zealand Search and Rescue Awards

    Last night Dame Patsy presented the New Zealand Search and Rescue Awards in Wellington. Every year, thousands of New Zealanders, mostly volunteers, take part in search and rescue operations on land and on our seas and waterways. These awards recognise that service and dedication. Congratulations to all last night's recipients and thanks to Mark Coote for photos of the winners. 

    Event photos

    Dame Patsy's speech

    Image of Dame Patsy speaking


  • Wahine Day

    Yesterday was Wahine Day, and 50 years since the Wahine foundered on Barrett's Reef during one of the worst storms to ever hit the Wellington region. it was a day of sadness and remembrance, but also a day to put a spotlight on how our emergency response and preparedness has improved in the aftermath.

    Dame Patsy officially opened a display by 20 emergency responder organisations in Shed 6 on the Wellington waterfront, where she was able to learn more from the experts about their work and the emergency response initiatives put in place in the aftermath of the Wahine's sinking, including civil defence plans, maritime safety systems, and the Life Flight helicopter service, which was established by plumber Peter Button. Mr Button realised a helicopter could have rescued people from the sea, and learned to fly so that he could establish the rescue helicopter service. 

    Dame Patsy was privileged to meet some of the people engaged in rescue efforts 50 years ago, and hear their accounts of the challenges they faced and the impact that the experience has had on their lives.

    Dame Patsy then spoke at a commemorative ceremony: New Zealand remembers, along with the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, and the Mayor of Wellington, His Worship Justin Lester. The ceremony concluded with an Orpheus Choir performance of a medley of popular songs sung by survivors on Wahine's lifeboats 50 years ago.

    Speech transcript, Emergency Response

    Speech transcript, Wahine Day: New Zealand Remembers

    Image Gallery

  • Navy Fleet Divisions

    Personnel from 9 of the 10 Royal New Zealand Navy ships were on parade in Auckland this morning for the annual Fleet Divisions. Dame Patsy was on hand, as Commander-in-Chief, to address the assembled parade.

    Speech transcript

    Image gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy inspecting Navy personnel
  • Commonwealth Secretary-General and Australian High Commission

    Today Dame Patsy received a vist from Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland. The pair talked about the importance of the relationship between New Zealand and the Commonwealth, climate change, empowering women and girls and support for small states.

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

    Image of Dame Patsy and Dame Quentin taking questions from the audience


    Later, Dame Patsy headed to the Australian High Commission for the Women in Leadership speaker series. Dame Patsy and former Governor-General of Australia, Dame Quentin Bryce shared the stage to discuss life as the Governor-General, how to make a difference and women in leadership.

    Photos of the speaker series 

    Dame Patsy's speech


  • Call from HE Mr Ewen McDonald, High Commissioner for Australia

    This afternoon Dame Patsy received a call from the Australian High Commissioner, HE Mr Ewen McDonald.

  • Willows Cricket Club

    There was some very exciting cricket in the weekend, including the New Zealand/UK match. Dame Patsy and Sir David attended a Willows Club dinner on Saturday night in Christchurch and a match the following day, where her team of aspiring Black Caps, the Governor-General's Youth XI, took on an invitation side that included first-class players of yesteryear.

    It was a very satisfactory result for the Governor-General's Youth XI

    Governor General’s Youth XI:    166        (Max Chu 37, Mitchell Hay 36, Andrew Nuttall 4 for 24,  Ewen Chatfield 4 for 26)


    Willows Invitation XI:                      118         (James Marshall 40, Ricard Turpie 3 for 13, Jack Mockford 2 for 12)

    Image Gallery

    an image of Their Excellencies with members of both teams
  • State welcome for the President of the Republic of Indonesia

    Dame Patsy and Sir David officially welcomed the President of the Republic of Indonesia HE Joko Widodo and Ibu Iriana Joko Widodo at Government House in Wellington.

    The NZDF Maori cultural party provided the powhiri and a one hundred person Guard of Honour. After talks in the Liverpool Room, Dame Patsy hosted a lunch for the President in the Norrie Dining Room. 

    Photos of this morning's welcome

    Dame Patsy's speech

  • Race Relations Day 2018

    We commemorated Race Relations Day a few days early at Government House Auckland today. Our MC was 2017 Young New Zealander of the Year, Rez Gardi, and our theme was in support of the Human Right's Commission campaign: "Give Nothing to Racism".

    Speech Transcript

    Image Gallery

  • 40th anniversary dinner for Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand

    This evening, Dame Patsy and Sir David are hosting Leukaemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand at a dinner at Government House to  celebrate LBC's 40th year of operation. LBC plays a vital role in assisting the 21,000 New Zealanders living with a blood cancer, providing support,education, and advocacy, as well as funding vital research that will help identify causes and possible treatments. We wish them all the very best with their future work.

    Speech transcript

    Image gallery 

  • Florence Nightingale Medal ceremony

    Last night Dame Patsy, as patron of the New Zealand Red Cross, presented Florence Nightingale Medals to three New Zealand nurses. The highest award in nursing, the medals are presented to Red Cross and Red Crescent nurses and others, who have shown exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster. Gail Corbett, Guru Dev Singh, and Barbara Turnbull are three of only thirty New Zealanders to receive the medal since it was instituted in 1912. Between them, the three have undertaken numerous Red Cross postings to places like Iraq, Gaza, Liberia and Afghanistan, with their work encompassing everything from managing hospitals to dealing with Ebola outbreaks. 

    Swiss Ambassador HE David Vogelsanger, a former Red Cross delegate himself, was also in attendance. 

    Photo gallery

    Dame Patsy's speech and recipient citations

    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with HE David Vogelsanger, Swiss Ambassador and Dr Jenny McMahon, National President of Red Cross New Zealand
    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with Gail Corbett, Guru Dev Singh, and Barbara Turnbull
  • Commonwealth Day 2018

    This evening Dame Patsy and Sir David attended a Commonwealth Day 2018 National Observance service at the Cathedral of St Paul in Wellington.

    Dame Patsy read a message from Her Majesty the Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Hon Andrew Little read a message from the Prime Minister, and the service included readings from the Hindu, Islamic, Sikh, and Baha'i faiths.

    Transcript of the Queen's message

    Image gallery

    an image of Students carrying flags of the Commonwealth
  • Auckland Council International Women's Day celebration

    Dame Patsy joined a panel discussion on leadership at the Auckland Town Hall for Auckland Council's International Women's Day celebration. The discussion covered a broad range of topics related to women in the workforce including paths to leadership and barriers to women's participation.


  • Turning of the Tides - International Women's Day

    This evening, Dame Patsy and Sir David attended an International Women's Day cocktail event at The Sugar Club in Auckland, supporting the Otara Blue Light programme Turning the Tide.

    The programme is aimed at young Maori and Pasifika women from Otara whose lives may be heading in the wrong direction. Guests at the evening were asked to donate time to the cause, instead of money, with donations ranging from work experience to career coaching.

    The stars of the show were programme graduates Krystal Wineti and Caitlynne-marie Bishop Katting, who won hearts with their confidence and poise while being interviewed by MC Carol Hirschfield.

    Read the speech

    Take a look at the photos

    Image of MC Carol Hirschfield with Turning the Tide graduates Krystal Wineti and Caitlynne-marie Bishop Katting

  • 2018 Zonta/UN Women NZ breakfast at Parliament

    What a great way to start International Women's Day, by joining hundreds of guests at Zonta/UN Women NZ's breakfast at Parliament. Dame Patsy spoke about the responsibility of everyone to use their influence to keep alive the momentum for change and Helen Clark spoke about the low representation of women in positions of power internationally and the need to working on breaking the barriers that still exist for women.

    Speech transcript

    Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy, The Rt Hon Helen Clark and Hon Julie Anne Genter
    an image of Dame Patsy, The Rt Hon Helen Clark and school students
  • Suffrage 125 launch

    Suffrage 125 was launched at Government House today in front of a crowd of women leaders, influencers and and public figures from all generations. Dame Patsy, Minister for Women Hon Julie Anne Genter and 2017 Young New Zealander of the Year Rez Gardi spoke and Lizzie Marvelly sang the National Anthem.

    See photos of the launch

    Read Dame Patsy's speech

    Image of Dame Patsy speaking

  • City gallery re-opening

    Dame Patsy and Sir David attended the re-opening of Wellington's City Gallery on Friday 2 March.

    The Gallery had been closed since late last year as it underwent some alterations, including the installation of a new, more welcoming entranceway.

    The first exhibition in the Gallery is "This Is New Zealand", a look at how New Zealand has been represented in our art and the truth (or otherwise) of those representations. Included in the exhibition are some of New Zealand's Venice Biennale artworks, including Michael Parakowhai's beloved piano sculpture He Korero Purakau mo Te Awanui o Te Motu: story of a New Zealand river

    See photos of the event

    Read Dame Patsy's speech

    Image of Micahael Houston playing the Michael Parekowhai piano sculpture

  • Launch of Wanted: The Search for the Modernist Murals of E Mervyn Taylor

    This afternoon Dame Patsy and Sir David attended the launch of a new book Wanted: The Search for the Modernist Murals of E Mervyn Taylor at the City Gallery in Wellington. Dame Patsy has followed the progress of this project with interest since its inception, and was delighted to see the fully restored Te Ika-a-Maui, which has been a labour of love for the book's editor, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith.

    Speech transcript

    an image of Their Excellencies with Nicola Legat, Prof Claire Robinson, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith and Elizabeth Caldwell
    an image of Dame Patsy and Bronwyn Holloway-Smith
  • Launch of #myidentity campaign

    Last night Dame Patsy and Sir David attended the launch of the Superdiversity Centre's #myidentity campaign in Auckland.

    The campaign celebrates and promotes the diversity of New Zealand's population and encourages people to upload videos of themselves describing the elements of their identity that are important to them.


    an image of Dame Patsy with Hon Julie Anne Genter, Hon Carmel Sepuloni and Mai Chen
  • Day three in Northland

    On the final day of the Northland visit, Dame Patsy and Sir David met students and staff at the recently established QRC Tai Tokerau College in Paihia. The students obtain qualifications in hospitality, spending a proportion of their time in internships. The goal is to provide training opportunities, particularly for local people, and to meet the needs of the rapidly growing tourism sector in the Far North.

    In the afternoon, Dame Patsy and Sir David spent time at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, including the magnificent Whare Runanga, the Treaty House, and the Museum, where the displays and taonga provide a vivid introduction to the story of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

    Finally, a reception in the Treaty Grounds provided an opportunity to meet local residents and thank the people who hosted Dame Patsy and Sir David, and helped to make their time in the Far North so memorable.

    Speech transcript




    an image of Dame Patsy and Sir David at QRC Tai Tokerau College in Paihia
    an image of Dame Patsy and guests at the reception
  • Northland Visit - Day two

    Conservation and heritage were the focuses of the second day of the regional visit to Northland. Dame Patsy and Sir David went by ferry to Urupukapuka Island, a picturesque jewel in the Bay of Islands. It was a chance to learn more about pre-European history and first contact between Europeans and Maori in the region, and to find out about Project Island Birdsong from DoC ranger Andrew Blanshard, Richard Robbins and Viki Rewha. Andrew's rat-catching dog Tike monitors the presence of rats to ensure that the island remains predator-free. Reintroduced birds are flourishing, including saddleback, robins, kiwi, brown teal, dottrels, morepork and kakariki.

    In the afternoon, Dame Patsy and Sir David visited Pompellier House, one of New Zealand's most important and esteemed heritage properties, where 40,000 hymnal and prayer books in Te Reo were printed at the instigation of Bishop Pompellier in the 1830s and 1840s. Russell Primary School students were on hand to act as tour guides as we moved through the various rooms of the house, learning about the painstaking work required at each stage of the printing and binding of the books, including the tanning of leather for the covers. Dame Patsy and Sir David learnt about how the  printing press was presented to Kingi Tawhaio, and gifted back to Pompellier House by his descendant, Dame Te Atairangikaahu.

    The students then entertained Dame Patsy and Sir David with their band, which featured saxophones, ukeleles, and drums.  

    Image Gallery


    an image of Dame Patsy and Sir David on Urupukapuka Island
    an image of Dame Patsy witnessed and a Russell School student with an image she printed on this heritage machinery
    an image of Dame Patsy and Sir David in front of Pompallier House
  • Regional Tour to the Far North - Day One

    Kaitaia was the focus of the first day of the visit of Dame Patsy and Sir David to Northland, and they were very impressed with the warmth of the welcome they received at all six engagements.  

    A powhiri at Te Ahu Centre was followed by a citizenship ceremony for 17 new New Zealanders. The Murray whanau welcomed them next to Kai Ora Honey, one of a number of whanau-based honey operations in the Far North. Kai Ora Honey produces high quality manuka honey, mainly for the export market, and is constantly looking for new ways to use honey to create niche products. 

    Kaitaia Primary School students welcomed Their Excellencies with a powhiri and visits to two classrooms, and then the next stop was the He Korowai Trust, where Ricky Houghton and his colleagues are transforming lives with housing and employment initiatives.

    The final stop was to the Moko Foundation, where Dr Lance O'Sullivan and his team are revolutionising health care for children, using digital technology to allow greater access.

    Speech transcript for the powhiri

    Image gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy greeting a teacher at Kaitaia Primary School
  • Kupe - Waka Odyssey

    This evening Dame Patsy and Sir David joined thousands of people on the waterfront to see the  spectacular launch to the 2018 New Zealand Festival: Kupe - a Waka Odyssey, which featured waka, approximately 1000 children performing kapa haka, a choir, singer Maisie Rika and a soundscape by Warren Maxwell.

    Speech Transcript

    Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy Reddy
  • Christchurch Earthquake

    On this 7th anniversary of the devastating Christchurch earthquake, our thoughts are with the people of Christchurch, particularly those who have experienced personal loss. We hope that communities will find solace and strength by gathering together in remembrance today.

    an image of The Canterbury Earthquake Memorial in Christchurch
  • Scouts NZ Founders Day and 110th anniversary

    Scouts NZ marked Founders Day and 110 years of scouting in this country with a special celebration at Government House this evening. Highlights included an inspiring address by Kate Te Wano, a young woman who came to scouting late and had to overcome many challenges but who credits the organisation with putting her on the path to her current career in the RNZAF; and the announcement of the Scouting Opportunity Fund, to help dismantle the financial barriers for young people wishing to get involved with scouts. Congratulations on 110 years of achievement, Scouts NZ!


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