Leaders of public sector agencies, NGOs and the private sector have come together as partners to form the Aotearoa Circle, which will address critical sustainability issues in Aotearoa New Zealand.
It's an exciting opportunity to combine cross-sector expertise and resources to find lasting solutions to the decline in our natural capital. Today's hui at Government House was an opportunity to share ideas about some of the Aotearoa's domains of interest: sustainable finance, land and soil, fresh water, climate change, biodiversity and the marine environment.
The hui welcomed four new partners. We wish the Aotearoa Circle all the very best with the upcoming work-plans.
Three inspiring speakers, expressing three very different perspectives on the topics of diversity and inclusion captivated tonight's guests at a dinner in celebration of diversity in 21st century New Zealand.
Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt reflected on the work still to be done to address racism, discrimination and the gap between rich and poor, noting that some of our citizens have yet to achieve the rights identified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Elisha Watson, founder of Nisa Clothing, spoke about the huge challenges refugee women encounter when it comes to finding employment, and Mika spoke about the journey to inclusion for members of the LGBTQ community, disenfranchised youth and people with mental health issues.
Dame Patsy invited her guests to consider how they could become allies for diversity.
Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted the members of the Halberg Foundation Youth Council at a morning tea at Government House in Wellington. The ten-member Council is a voice for youth with physical disabilites and were in Wellington for meetings and training.
Council member Kiran Dixon spoke of the need to "pave a way to the future where the world is inclusive. By working together we can ensure the world is better for the next generation so they don't have to face the same challenges."
"I stand as one. I come as many" was the refrain in presentations about the impact of global warming in the Pacific at the KiMuaNZ reception this evening. Young men and women, some from Aotearoa, but mainly from other Pacific Islands (Tonga, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Fiji, Niue, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tokelau, and the Solomon Islands) have spent three days in a workshop organised by the McGuiness Institute, in conjunction with Treasury.
Their calls for action were impassioned, as they spoke about what the possible loss of their homelands to rising sea levels would mean for the survival of their cultures and languages.
Dame Patsy officiated at the swearing-in of new Minister, Hon Poto Williams at Government House in Wellington. Minister Williams is the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector and is also Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Immigration and Social Development.
Rugby players taking part in the 93rd Quadrangular Tournament visited Government House today. Wellington College, Wanganui Collegiate, Nelson College and Christ's College First XV teams take part in the tournament every year, and when it is staged in Wellington, the players traditionally visit Government House for afternoon tea and a tour of the House.
Dame Patsy was on ribbon-cutting duties at the new Dark Sky Experience attraction in Takapō. A joint venture between Ngāi Tahu Tourism and astrotourism pioneers Graeme Murray and Hide Ozawa, the experience combines the science of the night skies with Maori star lore.
Later that evening, Dame Patsy visited the Mt John Observatory for a lesson in the stars of the Southern sky and the work being done there by the University of Canterbury.
Okains Bay Museum is located in a remote bay on Banks Peninsula. It was developed over many years by a keen collector of Maori and colonial artefacts, Murray Thacker. The Museum is now administered by a Trust, with the goal of curating the collection in such a way that it can tell the story of Maori and Pakeha settlement in the region.
The collection is justly considered to be of national significance, and it would take hours to view it all and visit the numerous buildings located at the Museum site.
It was an absolute privilege to see such a stunning collection on display, and we wish the Trustees and Manager Ian Day all the very best with their ambitious plans to take the museum to the next level of presentation and conservation.
This morning Dame Patsy received a warm welcome at the Linwood Islamic Centre, where she met members of Christchurch's Muslim community. She expressed her sincere condolences for their loss, and welcomed the opportunity to hear how local families are faring, discuss outreach into the wider community, and to learn about their plans for the future.
Three new diplomatic envoys presented their credentials to Dame Patsy this morning: HE Mr Mark Holowesko, the High Commissioner of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas; HE Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, the Apostolic Nuncio; and HE Professor Joyce Kakuramatsi Kikafunda, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Uganda.
Fourteen young New Zealanders have been chosen from their peers to receive this year's New Zealand Youth Awards. They are making a positive impact in diverse areas, including youth participation, social inclusion and environmental remediation and protection.
Today, they are all in Wellington for a visit to national institutions of government, including Government House. They certainly impressed us with their dedication, humanity and aroha, and wish them all the best with their future goals.
Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a fundraising dinner for the Red Cross to mark World Refugee Day. The food was based on the organisation's "Taste of Cultures' cookbook, which gathered together recipes and stories from former refugees now living in New Zealand. The dinner was cooked by guest chefs Pratheepan Neruraya from Sri Lanka; Veronica Montane from Chile and Hajar Masraeh from Iran, working alongside the Government House chefs.
Every year in New Zealand, one in three girls, one in six boys and one in two disabled people experience some form of sexual abuse. For Maori girls and women, the likelihood of sexual violence is twice as high as the general population. The LBGTQI+ community is even more at risk.
Last night's reception for Wellington Sexual Abuse HELP! Foundation at Government House brought together people who are determined to both help the victims of sexual abuse and bring about the social change required to eliminate this terrible scourge in our communities.
Their commitment, courage and aroha was inspirational and we wish them every success with their mission.
Dame Patsy and Sir David visited Zealandia, an eco-sanctuary in the suburb of Karori in Wellington. Zealandia's 500-year vision is to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems to their pre-human state. So far, Zealandia has reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife back into the area, some of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years.
Zealandia's success has seen a rise in native birds across Wellington.The 'halo effect' has even seen kaka make their home in the Government House gardens.
Members of the Muslim community celebrated the official opening of Iqra Elementary School's new premises in Auckland today. We were impressed by the children's and staff's use of English, Te Reo Maori and Arabic. Congratulations to all the people who have worked so hard to bring their vision of the school to reality, and we wish Principal Fatima Zaheed and her staff all the very best in the years ahead.
Sir David stood in for Dame Patsy at the launch of not for profit organisation Spend My Super at Government House in Auckland this evening.
The brainchild of former social worker Liz Grieve, Spend My Super encourages New Zealanders to donate all or part of their superannuation to support great New Zealand charities including Pillars, which helps children affected by having a parent in prison; Child Poverty Action group and KidsCan.
Dame Patsy represented New Zealand at the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of D-Day at Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. As well as attending the official ceremony, she had the opportunity to meet with leaders of 15 other nations as well as Her Majesty the Queen and the Prince of Wales.
Later, she attended a special lunch for D-Day veterans.
Otago University, our oldest university, is celebrating 150 years this year. It took just 29 years from the arrival of the first Scots settlers till the University was opened in 1869. It now has over 20,000 students and as Dame Patsy said, is the beating heart of Dunedin.
Today Dame Patsy attended a special convocation ceremony, where Honorary Doctor of Law degrees were conferred on Emeritus Professor Atholl Anderson, Dr Viopapa Annandale-Atherton, Sir Bill English and Brigid Inder.
A spectacular fireworks display in the early evening was followed by a celebration dinner in the Town Hall.
Te Runanga o Otakou Marae is situated in a spectacular setting near the mouth of Otago Harbour. It was there that two Ngai Tahu chiefs signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi in June 1840. Next to the wharenui there is a church built in 1940 to mark the centenary of the Treaty signing.
During today's visit to the marae, Kaumatua Edward Ellison and Dame Patsy both spoke about the connections forged between Ngai Tahu and the Crown that persist to this day.
We were privileged to be entertained with a series of waiata performed in impeccable style by students from Kings High School and Queens High School.
Protection of the natural world and innovative research was a strong theme in today's visits to the Otago Museum and the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head. The impact of global heating on Antarctica, and subsequent sea rise was the subject of an extremely informative film screened at the Museum's planetarium, and it was a delight to be able to see multi-coloured tropical butterflies in the rainforest.
The years of research into the life-cycles of albatrosses and predator control have certainly paid off at Taiaroa Head. Other threatened species of seabirds have also found a haven there, including shags, gulls, spoonbills, penguins and herons. Seals, sea-lions and elephant seals have also flourished in the wildlife sanctuary.
Dame Patsy and Sir David visited Christchurch on Wednesday.
First stop was Blinc Innovation's 'Sustainable Protein: Healthy People & Planet' event at Tai Tapu near Christchurch. Dame Patsy spoke of how New Zealand's innovative mindset and reputation for quality food products ideally places us to lead change
Dame Pasty and Sir David hosted a reception for the Jane Goodall Institute at Government House. Guest of Honour Dr Jane Goodall's speech had the guests full attention and later she presented the inaugural Jane Goodall Trailblazer Awards to Chloe Swarbrick and Maha Fier.
Congratulations to the recipients who received their insignia at Government House in Auckland today. Recipients included Jennifer Ward-Lealand for services to theatre, film and television; our Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh for services to poetry, literature and the Pacific community and Vic Tamati for services to the prevention of family violence
Today there were two investiture ceremonies at Government House Auckland. The first was for The Rt Hon Dame Helen Winkelmann, the Chief Justice of New Zealand. Dame Helen will be Administrator for the Government when Dame Patsy is unable to perform her duties as Governor-General.
This afternoon's ceremony for ten honour recipients recognised outstanding contributions in community service, the wine industry, orchestral performance, support for people with multiple sclerosis, journalism, religious history, governance, the Pacific Community, women, and the Niuean community.
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.
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.
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.
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.