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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • Investiture Ceremony 14 September 2021 am

    This morning the Administrator of the Government, Dame Susan Glazebrook presented insignia to a further ten recipients of some of the last New Zealand Royal Honours to be approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Sir Hugh Rennie received the accolade of a Knight for his significant contributions across business, law, governance and the community. Mrs Marama Tuuta, MNZM was acknowledged for her work in education and on behalf of Ngati Kahungunu Ki Wairarapa. Les Lehi Tenise Atoni, MNZM was acknowledged for his work for the Tokelauan community. Expert Raranga exponent Mrs Wini Solomon received her QSM for services to Maori culture and heritage, and Mrs Vivien Morton received her QSM for her work with Plunket.

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  • Investiture Ceremony 13 September 2022pm

    This afternoon at Government House, Dame Susan Glazebrook, the Administrator of the Government invested ten Honour recipients with their insignia. They hailed from Auckland in the North to Bluff in the deep South and all have made wonderful contributions across diverse fields of endeavour. Dame Carolyn Henwood received her DNZM in recognition of her services to the State, youth and arts. Ms Hinerangi Edwards received her ONZM for services to Maori, governance and education, and Dr Theron's ONZM acknowledged her services to science and the community.

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    Dame Susan Glazebrook and Dame Carolyn Henwood
  • Wellington Investitures 13th September 2022 AM

    In a very fitting start to Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, three wāhine toa were among the 11 recipients welcomed to Government House for their investitures this morning. Champion canoe racer Lisa Carrington received her Damehood, producer Chelsea Winstanley received an ONZM and Libby Hakaria received an MNZM for her contributions to the film and media industries.

    After her successes at the Tokyo Olympics, Dame Lisa became New Zealand's most decorated Olympian, with a six medals throughout her career to date, five of those being gold medals.

    Chelsea Winstanley has recently produced three te reo versions of Disney classics; Moana, Lion King and the soon to be released Frozen. Libby Hakaria launched the Māoriland Film Festival – the largest indigenous film festival in the Southern Hemisphere.

    As Dame Cindy is travelling to the United Kingdom for the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, the Hon Dame Susan Glazebrook, the Administrator of the Government, presided over these investitures.

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    Dame Lisa Carrington, of Auckland, DNZM for services to canoe racing
  • Proclamation of Accession ceremony for HM King Charles III

    “And so, on this momentous day, let us gathered here do as our forebears did those seventy years ago: let us join together in reflection and gratitude, and let us look forward to the reign of our new Sovereign, and this new chapter in our nation’s history”.

    Dame Cindy addressed the crowd gathered at the steps of Parliament for the Proclamation of Accession ceremony, which acknowledged His Majesty King Charles III as King of New Zealand. The Proclamation was read in English by New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary Phillip O’Shea, and in te reo by Parliamentary Kaumātua Kura Moeahu. Before the ceremony, a special meeting of the Executive Council was held to make an Order in Council proclaiming the accession of our new Sovereign.

    You can read Dame Cindy's speech here.

    More photos of the ceremony.

    The official party lines the steps of Parliament, as Phillip O'Shea reads the Proclamation


  • Adecco Paralympics New Zealand Gala Dinner

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies attended the Adecco Paralympics New Zealand Gala Dinner 2022, held in Auckland. This evening showcased para sport in New Zealand, and celebrated the success of our para athletes who competed at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics, the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

    Among the para athletes attending the dinner were swimmers Jesse Reynolds and Dame Sophie Pascoe, who Their Excellencies saw win medals in Birmingham earlier this year.

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    Dame Cindy's speech

    Dame Cindy Kiro, Dr Richard Davies and Hon Poto Williams
    Credit - Paralympics New Zealand


  • Auckland Investiture 1 September 2022 AM

    For Auckland’s final Queen’s Birthday and Platinum Jubilee 2022 Honours investitures, eight recipients were welcomes to Government House to receive their insignia. Today, Tangihaere Harihari-Hughes was awarded an ONZM for her extensive work with the New Zealand Māori Wardens Association, Māori Women’s Welfare League and many other organisations.

    Also recognised were John and Sandra Wyatt, who received QSMs for their work in their community of Kaikoura. Following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, they helped save the badly damaged community theatre from demolition. The newly restored Mayfair Arts and Culture Centre was opened again in 2020. Congratulations to all of this morning’s recipients.

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  • Auckland Investiture 31 August 2022 PM

    Investiture ceremonies continued this afternoon at Government House Auckland, with seven further recipients acknowledged for their outstanding service and contributions across New Zealand communities. Ms Julie Read received her insignia as a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order, for services to the state as the first woman appointed Director and Chief Executive of the Serious Fraud Office.

    Mr Matahi Brightwell received his insignia as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to Waka Ama, having founded New Zealand’s first Waka Ama Club, the Mareikura Canoe Club, and serving as first president to the national body. Sincere congratulations to all of this afternoon’s recipients.

    Ms Julie Read, QSO, of Auckland, for services to the State

    You can find more images from this afternoon's ceremony here.


  • Auckland Investiture 31 August 2022 AM

    Eight recipients received their insignia at Government House Auckland this morning, including Margareth Broodkoorn, from Haruru. Margareth has spent over 30 years in nursing in New Zealand, working with Māori heath providers and mentoring nurses across Aotearoa. She was also the first wāhine Māori appointed Chief Nursing Officer with the Ministry of Health.

    Emma Twigg was also recognised for her outstanding 20-year rowing career. Among her many achievements, she has competed in four Olympic games, won a World Championship, been named World Female Rower of the Year, and last year won Gold the Tokyo Olympics.

    Mrs Emma Twigg, MNZM, of Cambridge, for services to rowing

    You can find more images from this morning's ceremony here.

  • Auckland Investiture 30 August 2022 PM

    Eight further recipients received their insignia this afternoon, including Dr Hilary Blacklock, who received an ONZM for services to haematology. Dr Blacklock helped to establish the New Zealand Bone Marrow Donor Registry in 1996 and has also served as Medical Director. Through this registry, around 13,000 volunteer stem cell donors have become part of a world-wide network of other donors, who have helped 146 life-saving transplants occur in Aotearoa.

    Also among those recognised this afternoon was Dr Graeme Woodfield, for services to transfusion medicine; Marjet Pot, for her contributions to women’s health in New Zealand; and Dr Mai Tamimi for her work supporting Middle Eastern and refugee communities. Congratulations to all of today’s recipients.

    Dr Graeme Woodfield, CNZM, of Hamilton, for services to transfusion medicine

    You can find more images from this afternoon's ceremony here.

  • Auckland Investiture 30 August 2022 AM

    At this morning’s investiture ceremony, one of New Zealand’s greatest-ever rugby league players received a CNZM for services to the sport. Over 18 years, Benji Marshall played 346 NRL games – the most of any New Zealand player. He was also part of the Kiwis team who won the Rugby League World Cup in 2008, which remains the only time our national team has won the trophy.

    Also among those recognised was Ladi6, receiving an MNZM acknowledging her 20-year career in music. During this time, she has released three albums and has won multiple awards including the prestigious Taite Music Prize, which is awarded to the best New Zealand album of the year.

    You can find more images from this morning's ceremony here.

  • Investiture Ceremonies 26 August 2022

    Today at Government House Auckland, Dame Cindy presented insignia to fourteen Honours recipients, including Sir Collin Tukuitonga, KNZM, who was recognised for his distinguished career in public health and the public service, and Dr Miriam Saphira, long-time advocate for the LBBTQIA+ community. Further information about all the recipients can be found in the image galleries.

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  • Investiture Ceremonies 25 August 2022

    Today at Government House Auckland, Dame Cindy conferred insignia on fourteen Honour recipients who were recognised for their service, achievements and contributions to their communities. They included internationally renowned New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana, CNZM; Olympic Gold Medal rowers, Grace Prendergast, MNZM and Kerry Williams, MNZM; and Mr Ted Manson, who received a CNZM for his services to philanthropy, urban development and business. 

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  • Confirmation of the new Speaker of the House of Representatives

    On Wednesday afternoon, Dame Cindy held a very special ceremony at Government House Wellington confirming Rt Hon Adrian Rurawhe as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rt Hon Adrian Rurawhe had been Deputy Speaker since 2020, and is now the second Speaker of Māori decent – the first being Sir Peter Tapsell who was elected in 1993. This ceremony was particularly significant, being the first time that the Speaker has been confirmed in both English and te reo.

    Rt Hon Adrian Ruawhe receiving his confirmation letter from Dame Cindy

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Visit to Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae

    Dame Cindy Kiro with Joe Harawira, Bobby Newson and Taini Drummond
    The rain might have been pouring down, but the welcome was warm when Dame Cindy visited the amazing team at Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae, who have been providing a solution to food insecurity and sustaining the community of South Auckland for almost 40 years.

    The urban Marae was established by Māori Women’s Welfare League member Mere Knight on a hectare of council land in Māngere. Today, the Marae also delivers educational programmes to foster te reo and to strengthen cultural capacity. To do this, they have partnered with Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, and plan to increase the number of programmes they can provide.

    The marae combines traditional Māori values, tikanga and te reo in the creation and maintenance of their extensive organic gardens. The food they produce directly benefits their community, and encourages healthy eating. 

    Workers distribute fish heads to waiting patrons
    The marae runs a food bank, utilising the produce they grow on site. The covid 19 pandemic saw a huge spike in demand for this service, as tens of thousands of people were suddenly unable to work. Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae extended manaakitanga to families affected by the pandemic through thousands of food parcels, and by working with top Auckland restaurants to distribute food throughout the city. Currently, they give out up to 100 food boxes a week, also delivering to people in isolation. 

    While there, Dame Cindy got to sample the famous Papatūānuku burgers and to see the Kai Ika program in action – a kaupapa that redistributes fish heads donated by local fisheries to people in need, giving around 500kgs away every second day. This kaupapa lives by the whakatauki “he kai te rongoa, he rongoa te kai” (food is medicine, medicine is food). To learn more about Kai Ika and how you can help, head to their website

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  • Whānau Āwhina Plunket event in honour of outgoing CE Amanda Malu

    As Patron of Whānau Āwhina Plunket, Dame Cindy joined members of their organisation to farewell outgoing Chief Executive, Amanda Malu, who held the role for six years. Among Amanda's achievements during her time with the infant/tamariki health service was her work leading Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s transformation to become a more pro-equity organisation. She was also involved in reclaiming the story of two wāhine toa, Mere Harper and Ria Tikini (Kāi Tahu and Kāti Huirapa), who were instrumental in the foundation of Whānau Āwhina Plunket over 100 years ago.

    In her speech, Dame Cindy also acknowledged organisation's namesake, Lady Victoria Plunket, and the role she played in the early days of Plunket's beginnings. You can read the speech here.

    More photos.

    Dame Cindy Kiro, Amanda Malu

  • New Zealand Riding for the Disabled

    This morning at Government House Auckland, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies hosted a morning tea in celebration of New Zealand Riding for the Disabled’s 60th anniversary.

    NZRDA aims to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for people who are experiencing disability, or who have specific challenges or needs, through interaction with horses. NZRDA caters to around 3,000 riders annually – eighty per cent being children or teenagers.

    Dame Cindy hearing from one of the riders

    You can read Dame Cindy's speech from the event here, and find more images here.

  • Credentials Ceremonies 10 August 2022

    Today the rain held off long enought for Government House to offer our full outdoor credential ceremonies, including powhiri and an inspection of a Guard of Honour. Dame Cindy received the credentials of six new diplomatic envoys to New Zealand. This morning, Dame Cindy hosted HE Mr Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, High Commissioner for the Republic of Fiji;  HE Mr Feue Tipu, High Commissioner for Tuvalu; and HE Ms Iona Thomas, High Commissioner for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This afternoon it was the turn of HE Mr Adrianus Marinus Maria van der Vorst, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; HE Mr Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Ambassador of Ukraine; and HE Mr Werner Matias Romero Guerra, Ambassador of the Republic of El Salvador.

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  • Opening of Youth Parliament 2022

    This morning at the Beehive, Dame Cindy officially opened Youth Parliament 2022. Held every three years, Youth Parliament provides a unique opportunity for a diverse group of young New Zealanders to learn first-hand about New Zealand's democratic processes, influence government decision-making, and have their voices heard. Selected rangatahi represent their community, as either a Youth Member of Parliament, member of the Youth Press Gallery, or, this year, as the very first Youth Clerk of the House of Representatives.

    Dame Cindy and the Prime Minister with the gathered Youth MPs

    You can read Dame Cindy's speech here, and find more images from the event here.

  • Christchurch Investiture 7 July 2022 PM

    Thursday afternoon saw the final investiture ceremony held in Christchurch, with Dame Cindy presenting insignia to seven further Honours recipients. Among them was Christine Lake, honoured for over 20 years with New Zealand’s largest health and wellbeing support service for young children – the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society. During her time with Plunket, Ms Lake helped to guide the organisation through significant change, including the recent re-brand to Whānau Āwhina Plunket. Also recognised was former cricket international Janice Steed, and Diana Reid, who helped to establish the Malvern Cancer Support Group in Darfield in 1983. Congratulations to all of this afternoon’s recipients.

    Mrs Christine Lake, CNZM, of Christchurch, for services to Plunket

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Christchurch Investiture 7 July 2022 AM

    Christchurch investiture ceremonies continued this morning at the Town Hall, with seven further recipients honoured for their outstanding work across New Zealand. Professor John Simpson received his insignia for services to art education – serving as the head of the University of Canterbury’s School of Fine Arts for more than 30 years, and driving a modernisation of the school's courses and teaching. Ms Laura Thompson also received her insignia as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her work as a sighted pilot for Para-cyclists – a competing career that included 10 world championship and five Paralympic medals.

    Professor John Simpson, ONZM, of Christchurch, for services to art education

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Christchurch Investiture 6 July 2022 PM

    Dame Cindy presented insignia to six Honours recipients this afternoon at the Christchurch Town Hall. Dr Michael Dunbier was acknowledged for services to agricultural science, including as Director of DSIR Crop Research, and foundation CEO of the New Zealand Institute for Crop and Food Research Ltd. Francis and Shireen Helps were also acknowledged for services to wildlife conservation, particularly in their support of kororā (little penguins) and hoiho (yellow eyed penguins). Sincere congratulations to all of this afternoon's recipients.

    Dr Michael Dunbier, CNMZ, of Christchurch, for services to agricultural science

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • New Zealand Bravery Awards

    This afternoon at the Christchurch Town Hall, Dame Cindy hosted the New Zealand Bravery Awards, acknowledging those who exhibited such extraordinary courage at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre on 15th March 2019. The family of the late Dr Naeem Rashid, who lost his life that day, accepted the insignia of the New Zealand Cross on his behalf. Each of today's Bravery Award recipients helped to save the lives of others, and they have earned the deepest respect and admiration of all New Zealanders.

    The late Dr Naeem Rashid, NZC, for an act of great bravery in a situation of extreme danger

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

  • Credentials ceremonies 30 June 2022

    Dame Cindy welcomed a further five new Ambassadors to New Zealand today: HE Ms Biljana Stefanovska-Sekovska, Ambassador of The Republic of North Macedonia; HE Mr Sinchai Manivanh, or of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic; HE Mr Davaasuren Damdinsuren, Ambassador of Mongolia; HE Mr Oscar Atehortua Duque, Ambassador of The Republic of Colombia; and HE Mr Rade Stefanovic, Ambassador of The Republic of Serbia. Members of the Royal New Zealand Navy once again provided the pōwhiri and Guard of Honour for the ceremony outside.

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    HE Mr Sinchai Manivanh greeting members of the Royal New Zealand Navy cultural party

    HE Mr Davaasuren Damdinsuren, Ambassador of Mongolia, and his family greeting Their Excellencies

  • Credentials ceremonies 29 June 2022

    Today, four new diplomatic representatives presented their credentials at Government House Wellington. Dame Cindy and Dr Davies welcomed HE Mr Daniel Rosa, Ambassador to the Republic of Angola; HE Mr Robert Pimentel, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic; HE Mrs Wassane Zailachi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco; and HE Ms Marie Monty, High Commissioner of the Republic of Mauritius. Representatives from the Royal New Zealand Navy provided the stunning pōwhiri and Guard of Honour.

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    Diplomatic staff, Mr Hamid Mernissi, HE Mrs Wassane Zailachi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco, Dame Cindy Kiro, and Dr Richard Davies

    HE Ms Marie Monty inspecting the guard of honour

  • Founder Lecture 2022

    This evening at the National Library, Dame Cindy delivered the annual Founder Lecture, hosted by the Friends of the Turnbull Library. Her Excellency's lecture was entitled, 'Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua: Approaching our past with curiosity and courage', and focussed on New Zealand's relationship with its past, and the important role of the Turnbull Library in that relationship. In delivering the Founder Lecture, Dame Cindy joins an esteemed list of New Zealand academics, leaders, and artists, including Dame Anne Salmond, CK Stead, and Dr Ranginui Walker.

    'The Turnbull Library helps New Zealanders to do that precious and ineffable and most human of things: it helps us to remember.'

    Dame Cindy delivering the Founder Lecture

    You can read the full lecture here.

  • A message for the United Nations Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032)

    Ko tōku reo tōku ohooho, ko tōku reo tōku māpihi maurea
    My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul

    2022 marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade of Indigenous Languages, which recognises the right to revitalise and promote languages, and linguistic diversity around the world.

    Many indigenous languages are in a critical state. This initiative aims to help the global community work together to preserve these languages for generations to come.

    In these messages, Dame Cindy Kiro (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu) and her Canadian counterpart Mary Simon (Inuk), speak about importance of te reo Māori and Inuit languages, and the efforts to revitalise them in Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada. Governor-General Mary Simon's message will be released in the coming weeks.

    For more information about the New Zealand National Commission and their work on indigenous language and knowledge, click here.

  • Matariki Dinner with the Diplomatic Corps

    Last night at Government House Wellington, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies hosted the Diplomatic Corps for a very special Matariki Dinner, to mark the first time that New Zealand has observed Matariki as a public holiday. The mid-winter reappearance of the Matariki star cluster signals the start of the Māori New Year, and with it, a period of remembrance, reflection, and celebration.

    ‘I encourage you all to look up into the early morning sky, as our ancestors did, and to see those stars with that same sense of wonder and faith.’

    Mānawatia a Matariki!

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies entering the ballroom

    You can see more images from the event here, and read Dame Cindy's speech here.

  • He Wahine Maori Ahau

    He Wahine Maori Ahau is an inspirational speaker series focussing on the experience of Wahine Maori in the Public Service. The topic of yesterday's forum at the National Library was 'The Impact of the past on women today'. Dame Cindy was welcomed with a powhiri before being joined on the podium by senior public servants Heather Baggott, Deputy Public Service Commissioner; and Melanie Mark-Shadbolt, Deputy Secretary Tūmatakōkiri at the Ministry for the Environment. A common theme in all their korero was the enduring influence of significant women in their formative years, and their ongoing responsibility to support the growth of future leaders. Dame Cindy also took the opportunity to visit He Tohu, where she was delighted to discern the signatures of her tipuna on the parchment Tiriti o Waitangi, signed on 6 February 1840 in Waitangi.

    Speech transcript

  • Visit to the Compassion Soup Kitchen

    Today marks Suzanne Aubert's 187th birthday. Mother Aubert devoted her life to looking after those in need, and founded the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion. Last night, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies visited the Compassion Soup Kitchen in Wellington, to help with the dinner service for Mother Aubert's birthday. The Compassion Soup Kitchen continues Mother Aubert's remarkable legacy by supporting people in need in our community, including those struggling with mental health issues, addiction, homelessness, and poverty.

    Dr Davies and Dame Cindy serving from the kitchen

    You can find more images from the visit here.

  • Japan Festival

    Dame Cindy and Dr Davies attended the Japan Festival in Wellington yesterday – a very special event that also marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and New Zealand. This biennial celebration of Japanese culture featured musical performances, two giant kimono, and a range of Japanese cuisine.

    Thousands of Wellingtonians turned out for the event, also attended by His Excellency Mr Koichi Ito, Japanese Ambassador to New Zealand, His Worship Andy Foster, Mayor of Wellington, and of course, the Zespri Kiwi Brothers. Congratulations to the Japan Festival Wellington Trust, Wellington City Council, and Japanese Embassy on a hugely successful festival.

    Dame Cindy and Ms Misako Ito

    You can see more images from the event here, and read Dame Cindy's speech here.

  • NZTrio 20th anniversary concert

    Last night's concert by NZTrio marked the 20th year since it was formed. The current line-up of Ashley Brown, Amalia Hall and Somi Kim gave an exquisite performance of classic and contemporary music.

    Speech transcript

  • Appointment of Minister and Allocation of Portfolios

    This afternoon at Government House Wellington, Dame Cindy authorised the appointment of Hon Kieran McAnulty to the Executive Council, as well as the appointment of Ministers to their new portfolios, on the advice of the Prime Minister.

    Minister McAnulty was joined by his family for the very special ceremony, which was also attended by Hon Kelvin Davis and Hon Kiri Allan.

    Hon Kieran McAnulty, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Mr Michael Webster, Dame Cindy, Hon Kelvin Davis, and Hon Kiri Allan

    You can find more images from the ceremony here.

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