On Sunday, Dame Patsy cut the ribbon to officially open a restored piece of Wairarapa’s agricultural history. The exact date the Donald Woolshed was constructed is not known, but estimates date it from around 1850-1870. It is constructed from totora wood, and was one of the oldest buildings in the area.
The woolshed, now located at Cobblestones Museum in Greytown, has been largely restored with the help of dedicated volunteers in the area.
Representing Pāpāwai marae, Sir Kim Workman performed a karanga to bless the woolshed before it was opened.
The Donald family had an important impact on New Zealand’s agricultural landscape, with William Donald being one of the first people to bring Romney sheep to New Zealand. Romney now makes up around half of all total sheep in New Zealand.
William’s youngest son, Donald, was the inventor of the Donald (or Solway) Woolpress. This machine was at the time, the most cutting-edge woolpress in the country, faster, cheaper and more efficient than the competition.
A descendent of the Donald family, Andrew Donald, attended the ceremony and spoke of his family’s legacy in the region.
This morning Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a morning tea for the Aspen Institute New Zealand, which was recently established as an affiliate of the Aspen Institute in the United States. Co-patrons Sir Don McKinnon and former Prime Minister the Rt Hon Helen Clark were amongst the guests, along with two other former Prime Ministers, the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Palmer and the Rt Hon Sir Bill English.
While working with her charity KidsCan, Julie Chapman discovered that over half of people facing domestic violence, they delay leaving for fear of what might happen to their pets. She decided to do something about this worrying statistic and along with Glenda Hughes, created Pet Refuge. The refuge will be a safe haven for pets to stay while their owners seek the help they need, and can later be reunited when they are in a stable environment.
On Thursday night, Dame Patsy hosted Pet Refuge’s Christmas Celebration, to help them get closer to their goal of opening the refuge doors by mid-2021. The evening included speeches from Olympic gold medallist Rob Waddell, broadcaster John McBeth and a performance from Julia Deans.
Actor Sam Neill, author Joy Cowley and artist and educator Dr Sandy Adsetts' long and inspirational careers were acknowledged at Government House this evening, with the presentation of the Arts Foundation's Whakamana Hiranga Icon Awards. Limited to a living circle of 20, the Icon medallion holders include Albert Wendt, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Sir Peter Jackson.
Scene stealer of the night was Joy Cowley, who told a story about taking her tiger to the dental nurse, instead of giving a traditional speech.
Performance artist Kalisolaite 'Uhila carried the torch for mid-career arts practitioners when he was announced as the latest Harriet Friedlander Residency recipient. The all-expenses paid residency will see him soaking up the the creative energy of New York - once the borders open of course.
This afternoon Hon Sir William Young, Chair of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on the Christchurch Mosques, and Jacqui Caine, Commissioner, presented the Commission's report to the Governor-General.
Rain may have curtailed some of the normal ceremonial flourishes but there was still plenty of colour at this morning's 53rd State Opening of Parliament in Wellington. Dame Patsy delivered the Speech from the Throne to the assembled Members of the House outlining the Government's priorities for its term and following the ceremony, Dame Patsy joined the Prime Minister, Speaker of the House, members of the diplomatic corps, youth representatives and others at the Prime Minister's Reception.
The first task of a newly elected Parliament is to elect a Speaker. Today, after the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard was elected by his colleagues, he came to Government House to have his election confirmed by the Governor-General.
The Speaker is third in the order of precedence, after the Governor-General and the Prime Minister.
This afternoon Dame Patsy hosted a reception for New Zealand Festival of the Arts and Wellington Jazz Festival patrons, partners and artists at Government House in Wellington. Both events faced challenges due to the pandemic but planning is underway for 2022. Appropriately, given it was the final day of the Jazz Festival, the music waFestival of the Arts and Wellington Jazz Festival receptions supplied by the RNZAF Jazz Band, who didn't miss a beat - even when Dame Patsy popped over for a quick photo opp.
On Friday 20 November Dame Patsy and Sir David attended the 2020 Ahuwhenua Awards dinner in Rotorua. Until this year, the awards have recognised excellence in sheep, beef or dairy farming. This year marked the first time in the Awards history that excellence in horticulture was recognised.
Dame Patsy presented the Ahuwhenua Trophy to Norm Carter, Chair of Te Kaha 15B, Hineora Orchard, which produces gold kiwifruit.
The sun shone for the New Zealand's Olympic Family as Dame Patsy hosted a lunch at Government House in Auckland to thank the people and organisations who play a role in getting the New Zealand Olympic team to the games, and in keeping support for our teams high in between times.
The Tokyo Olympics will definitely be happening with announcements expected before Christmas as to how the event will be run. Great news for our New Zealand athletes who have kept up their training during the challenging events of this year.
New Zealand has had a marvellous record of success at the Olympics over the last 100 years. Check out some of the best moments in this video from the New Zealand Olympic Committee
A very special evening at Government House in Auckland tonight as nine members of Global Women were presented with honorary lifetime memberships. Global Women's objective is to increase diversity in leadership by facilitating the development of women leaders and the guest list reflected this mission.
Unusually Dame Patsy was not the one presenting the awards this evening. As a founder member of Global Women she was one of the honorees alongside former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley, lawyer Mai Chen, academic Dame Marilyn Waring, public policy reformer Ruth Richardson and business leaders Dame Alison Patterson, Joan Withers and Faye Langdon,
The nine new life members were also honoured with a special haka from members of Titahi Ki Tua, a student group from AUT.
As part of Paralympics New Zealand’s Celebration Project, this evening 18 Paralympians were presented with their Paralympian number pins at Government House Wellington. They are part of the group of 209 Paralympians who have represented New Zealand at the Paralympic Games since 1968 in Tel Aviv.
The Celebration Project has been holding events all throughout 2020 to honour every member of our Paralympic family in the 52 years of New Zealand Paralympic history. There will hopefully be around 30-40 extra names to add to the prestigious list if the upcoming Paralympic Games are successfully held next year in Tokyo.
Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa is a national weavers' committee, whose mission is to develop and extend the skills of weaving across Aotearoa. Today the committee members presented Dame Patsy with Hine Maioha, an exquisite example of a tarapouahi (flax shawl), created by weavers in various locations around the country. The exterior of the tarapouahi is tasselled and the interior facing features taniko patterns. The tarapouahi was woven especially for Dame Patsy.
This evening at Government House, Dame Patsy hosted a celebration for the 25th Anniversary of Zealandia. 25 years ago, Jim Lynch’s plan for an urban eco sanctuary nestled in the hills of Karori began, it would be a pest-free environment where Aotearoa’s native flora and fauna could thrive. The urban eco sanctuary has been so sucessful, native bird sightings around the city have dramatically increased over the past 10 years, some by as much as 700%!
The sanctuary is surrounded by an 8.6km fence which is designed to keep out harmful pests like possums, stoats and mice. This gives native flora and fauna a place to thrive away from unnatrual predators.
The ballroom at Government House transformed into a theatre this evening with a performance of Kate JasonSmith's one woman play "I'll Tell You This For Nothing - My Mother the War Hero". Kate took the audience on a journey through her Mother's life, from rural Ireland to nursing service on the battlefields of World War Two. By turns comedic, dramatic and ultimately moving, it was an acting tour de force.
Aotearoa New Zealand’s new Ministry was appointed this morning at Government House Wellington. The 26 Ministers and two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries were welcomed into the ballroom with a karanga from Kuia Ranui Ngarimu, which was returned by newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta.
Last night Dame Patsy presented awards to eight recipients of the Royal Society Te Aparangi Research Honours, including the most prestigious award, the Rutherford Medal to Distinguished Professor Brian Boyd.
This week saw the conclusion of the Queen’s Birthday investiture ceremonies, where many amazing Kiwis received their New Zealand Royal honours. The citations merely scratch the surface of a lifetime of outstanding work achieved by the recipients – a great example of this was Tiger Moth pilot Rona Fraser, MNZM.
The nonagenarian pulling up to Government House in her new Kona blue Mustang was a hint there was more to her than you might think! (blue was her second choice, she would have preferred purple). Rona arrived to receive an MNZM for services to women and aviation; among her achievements was founding the New Zealand Association of Women in Aviation in 1959.
The NZAWA has helped encourage more women to join the world of aviation through mentoring and scholarships. The group includes female pilots, flight attendants, balloonists, parachutists and everything in between. After Rona met with her in Rotorua, New Zealand’s most famous aviator, Jean Batten, was patron of the organisation for many years until her death.
Rona’s own journey to the skies began after being inspired to fly from World War II pilots. She went on to become the first woman gain a private pilot’s licence after World War II, and the first woman to fly solo from the Wellington Aero Club. She began her aviation training in 1952 flying Tiger Moths and her first solo flight happened after just four and a half hours of dual flying. Rona then became licenced to fly an Auster Aiglet, Chipmunk, Piper Cub, Tri Pacer and a Citabria.
Rona Fraser and Dame Patsy Reddy
As well as being an accomplished pilot, early in her career Rona was a skilled welder; she was the only woman welder in the General Motors body shop in Petone at the time. She was also a welder at Seaview’s Ford plant and later worked at an engineering firm where she learned to use the lathe machine. Rona then started a riding school at her farm in the Wairarapa, where she bred Arabian horses.
In 2012 she was interviewed by Radio New Zealand, it’s worth hearing more about her trailblazing life - click this link to listen.
Today Dame Patsy hosted the annual meeting of the Thomas George Macarthy Trust. The Trust has had a huge impact on charitable funding in the Wellington Region since it was established by T G Macarthy in 1912. Governors of the Trust included the Prime Minister, the Catholic Archbishop of Wellington, the Governor, and Wellington's Mayor. It is one of New Zealand's largest perpetual charitable trusts with assets in excess of $90 million, and is administered by the Public Trust. Each year Trust income of around $2 - $3 million is disbursed.
The aim of the T G Macarthy Trust was to help improve the quality of life for the disadvantaged and marginalised, to help young people develop and realise their potential, to look after and provide dignity for older people, and provide essential medical and emergency services.
T G Macarthy came to Otago in search of gold. He established a brewery in Charleston before moving to Wellington and diversifying his business interests. He was a respected businessman and public figure, was director of the Wellington Opera House and was on the Board of Directors for the Bank of New Zealand and the Wellington-Manawatu Railway.
The Trust has given over $80 million to diverse not-for-profit community based groups in Wellington, the Wairarapa, Kapiti, Horowhenua, Manawatu and Whanganui Districts.
Composer, musician, singer and actor Troy Kingi, Government House’s most recent Artist-in-Residence, confirmed his reputation as an artistic powerhouse during his stay here.
There was a slight blip in his ambitious goal to release 10 albums in 10 genres in 10 years. In 2018, he didn’t release anything, but he is making up lost ground in 2021 with his plans to release four albums.
Troy told us he relishes deadlines and song-writing comes easily to him. For him, each musical genre is an opportunity to re-invent himself with a new sound and persona. He wants each album to sound like a it has been made by a different artist.
During his time at Government House, Troy completed two projects. The first involved translating the lyrics in his 2019 reggae album “Holy Colony Burning Acres” into Te Reo Māori, and then recording the vocals. The second was to write, record and mix an acoustic folk album, in collaboration with Delaney Davidson. Troy says it will be his most personal album to date.
Work on the next genre album – inspired by 80s music – will have to wait until June 2021. That’s because there are several film commitments coming up. (Troy first appeared in Mount Zion in 2013, and has most recently appeared in Toke – there’s talk of a TV spin-off further down the track.)
The 2020 Māori Music Awards were held (virtually) during Troy’s time at Government House. He pre-recorded five acceptance speeches for the categories he was nominated for, and he came away with three: Best Solo Māori Artist; Best Reggae Album and Best Music Video. He was also a finalist in last night’s Silver Scroll Awards for his song “Mighty Invader”.
Troy says that he will think back to his time in the Government House residency and recall how despite being out of his comfort zone, he was able to achieve so much.
Troy does his best work in the wee hours. After his stay here, he can confirm that Government House's many tui are all-nighters as well.
Today Dame Patsy visited Our Lady's Home of Compassion in Island Bay to meet the sisters and posthumously present the Queen's Service medal awarded to the late Sr Catherine Hannan.
Sister Catherine, a member of the Sisters of Compassion for 66 years and a dedicated advocate for human rights in New Zealand and overseas, passed away before she was able to attend an investiture ceremony. Her insignia was presented instead to Congregational Leader Sr Margaret Anne Mills and will be added to the substantial number of honours awarded to members of the Sisters of Compassion already held in the order's archives.
Dame Patsy also toured the museum, the Suzanne Aubert Heritage Centre and the chapel - the final resting place of Sisters of Compassion founder Suzanne Aubert.
This evening concluded the Queens Birthday honours list investiture ceremonies at Government House Wellington, where 13 recipients were presented with their insignia. Among them was Dame Aroha Reriti-Crofts, recognised for her significant contributions to Māori wāhine and the community. Her extensive work in the health and education sector was acknowledged along with her contributions to the Māori Women’s Welfare League. Other recipients this evening include former Mayor of Whakatāne Tony Bonne and former Mayor of Central Otago Tony Lepper plus Helen Plume, who has contributed significantly to the global fight against climate change.
Central Otago poet Dr Brian Turner, ONZM and former Silver Fern Joan Harnett-Kindley, ONZM were among the 12 investiture recipients this afternoon at Government House. Other recipients were Scilla Askew, ONZM for services to music; Dr Jeremy Hill, MNZM for services to the dairy industry and scientific research; Jenny Noble, MNZM for services to health, particularly research for rare diseases; Tofilau Bernadette Pereira, MNZM for services to the Pacific community and women; Robyn Bisset, QSM for services to the community; Chandhu Daji, QSM for services to the Indian community and sport; Bill Sharp, QSM for services to youth; Terence Tauira, QSM for services to the Pacific community; Marie Taylor, QSM for services to horticulture and native revegetation; and Jim Thomas, QSM for services to victim support and the community.
Another ten outstanding New Zealanders received their honour insignia from Dame Patsy this morning: Professor Richard Bedford, CNZM for services to governance; Steve Tew, ONZM for services to rugby and sports administration; Jackie Edmond, MNZM for services to sexual and reproductive health; Dr Janet Turnbull, MNZM for services to health; Angelica Edgley, MNZM (Honorary) for services to forensic science; Gillian Bishop, QSM for services to conservation; Dave Butler, QSM for services to conservation; Turangapito Parata, QSM for services to Maori, health and youth; Cushla Scrivens, QSM for services to historical research and heritage preservation; and Neil Taylor, QSM for services to people with intellectual disabilities and the community.
At this afternoon's investiture ceremony, insignia were presented to Helene Quilter, QSO for services to the State; Dr Garry Forgeson, ONZM for services to oncology; Tony Wilding, ONZM for services to the dairy industry and the community; David Crerar, MNZM for services to mountaineering and outdoor recreation; Billy Graham, MNZM for services to youth and the community; Dr Sarah Leberman, MNZM for services to women, sport and tertiary education; Don Mackay, MNZM for services to seniors and the community; Mary Thompson, MNZM for services to netball administration; Kayla Whitelock, MNZM for services to hockey; Ella Buchanan Hanify, QSM for services to music; Andrew John, QSM for services to conservation and education; Trevor McGlinchey, QSM for services to Maori and the community; and Terry Roche, QSM for services to the community.
This morning's honour recipients were senior diplomat John McKinnon, CNZM; media educator Dr Brian Pauling, ONZM; pioneering aviator Rona Fraser MNZM; gerontologist Dr Sally Keeling, MNZM; publisher Don Long, MNZM; eminent weaver Veranoa Hetet, QSM; aviator John Lamont, QSM; Tongan community leader Kolovula Murphy, QSM; and women's advocate Barbara Thompson, QSM.
South Island rural communities were well represented in this morning's investiture ceremony for 12 honour recipients at Government House. Five volunteers from Fire and Emergency New Zealand received honours, and recipients were also acknowledged for their services to communities, interfaith communities, addiction support and treatment, health and cycling, wildlife conservation, sport and historical research, women, and football and historical research.
Eleven outstanding New Zealanders received their insignia at this afternoon's investiture ceremony for honour recipients at Government House. They were recognised for tireless work in our communities and for their contributions to various sectors, including health, the cattle industry, horticulture, martial arts, motorsport, conservation, sport, and choral music. Pictured is Helen Heffernan, who received a CNZM for services to health.
Ten more New Zealanders received their honours insignia at a ceremony at Government House in Wellington this afternoon.
Trailblazing politician and LGBTIQA+ rights activist Georgina Beyer was recognised, alongside leading medical specialist Professor John Nacey and eight-times World Masters Triathlon Champion Dr John Hellemans. Congratulations to all recipients
This afternoon marked the start of the Wellington ceremonies celebrating the Queen’s Birthday honour recipients, recognising some people doing amazing things for their community. Among them was former Police Commissioner Mike Bush and Bev May, who was the first woman to gain a cycling licence to compete against men.
Dame Patsy also honoured new Knight Sir Robert Martin, who has done some outstanding work for the self-advocacy movement. Sir Robert was the first person with a learning disability elected onto a United Nations Human Rights Treaty Body, and is currently serving a four year term on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Congratulations to all 12 of our recipients for all they have done for their communities.
This morning Dame Patsy opened the Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand's conference in Wellington. The Society has been a Governor-General patronage since it first started in 1931- Lord Bledisloe was a great supporter.
After her speech, Dame Patsy was presented with a conference medal while she presented President David Galt with, what else, a Governor-General coin.
Just over a year ago at Government House Wellington, Dame Patsy opened the McCahon Centenary celebrations, and tonight Government House Auckland hosted a reception to bring it to a close.
The McCahon Centenary has celebrated the works of Colin McCahon, and the legacy he has had on New Zealand art and culture.
One of our most prominent artists, he began his 45 year career as a painter in the 1930s. He spent his early years in Dunedin, Nelson and Christchurch before moving to Auckland in the early 1950s. He is most known for painting abstract landscapes and works of painted text.
The evening also featured a presentation from Hideaki Fukutake about the regeneration of a community through art, architecture and nature. Together with his father, Mr Fukutake operates the Benesse Art Site Naoshima in Japan. This comprises of three main islands that were previously polluted with from industrial waste and have been re-established as havens for art and architecture. Community buildings on the islands operate like museum galleries as its residents live alongside living art spaces.