Heart Kids Wellington couldn't have asked for a better day to celebrate their 30th anniversary, with blue skies and sunshine the order of the day at Government House.
Maia the Heart Kids Bear and Marshall from Paw Patrol proved popular, as did the bouncy castle and face painting. An appearance by Anna and Elsa from 'Frozen' who sang, danced and told stories was also a huge hit.
Special guests, Heart Kids founders Linda Davies and Michelle Mann spoke about their experiences dealing with the hospital system that led to the foundation of Heart Children, the organisation now known as Heart Kids.
The sun shone for today's visit by helicopter to Waiouru, where 34 New Zealand officer cadets and 8 officer cadets from 5 other nations graduated from their commissioning course, and performed precision parade ground drills to the accompaniment of the Army Band. Friends and whanau were on hand to congratulate the new officers. We couldn't stay for the dinner and ball this evening, but it's sure to be a wonderful night of celebration.
Coco had competition for the affections of Dame Patsy and Sir David after a visit to Te Hopai Home and Hospital in Wellington this morning. They were there to observe the work of Canine Friends Pet Therapy, a volunteer organisation that takes dogs into hospitals and rest homes. Pet therapy has been found to be very valuable for older people and it was obvious that many of the residents had a strong bond with the therapy dogs.
Star of the show was Jack, the well-trained Border Collie who did a skateboard demonstration for the residents and a rather impressed Dame Patsy and Sir David.
Yesterday Dame Patsy joined 800 plus women at the Bold Steps Conference in Auckland. The conference was initiated by women who are leaders in their field and provides the attendees with opportunities to hear inspiring advice about career progression and networking.
Dame Patsy was a guest speaker, and noted that New Zealand has normalised having women in top positions. She spoke about the importance of respect for the people that we work with directly, of understanding oneself and what we are capable of doing, and remaining positive.
Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand has been supporting individuals and families for 50 years. Tonight's reception at Government House acknowledged the tireless efforts of volunteers, medical personnel, researchers and families who have made a difference in the lives of people living with CF, which is the most common incurable disease in New Zealand, currently affecting over 500 children and adults. At tonight's reception, a memorial candle was lit alongside a book recording the names of New Zealanders who have lost their lives to CF. We wish CFNZ all the very best with its quest for a new meaning for CF - Cure Found.
In 1999 the Sir George Elliot Charitable Trust launched the Elliot Scholarships. Each year since then, the Trust has awarded three scholarships worth $25,000 to students who fit the criteria of being academically successful, with future leadership potential and who have faced challenges in their personal or family circumstances.
The three 2018 scholars Matthew Manukuo, Nicole White and Jennifer Thonrithi were presented with their awards at a special dinner, with guests including Elliot Scholarship alumni.
Today marks the 125th anniversary of the first general election in New Zealand where women were able to cast their vote. Dame Patsy hosted a morning tea to mark the occasion and thank the staff from the Ministry of Women for their work organising Suffrage 125 this year.
Over 355 events marking Suffrage 125 took place in New Zealand during the commemoration period.
Today Dame Patsy officialted at the swearing-in of the Chief Justice and a Judge of the High Court of Niue.
Judge Miharo Armstrong and new Chief Justice, Judge Craig Coxhead each swore an Oath of Allegiance and a Judicial Oath in front of Dame Patsy. The High Commissioner of Niue, HE Fisa Pihigia assisted with the administering of the Oaths.
In attendance were Jusge Patrick Savage, outgoing Chief Justice of Niue and Judge Wilson Isaac, Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court.
Dame Patsy delivered the opening address at the NZ Women in leadershop Alumnae Symposium at Victoria University today. The NZWiL programme exists to support and encourage the development of women who are, or aspire to be, leaders within the university sector.
The two day symposium has the theme of Hautūtanga: Creating opportunities through leadership.
As well as speaking, Dame Patsy also took part in a leadership Q and A session.
Some very special guests at Government House tonight for the annual dinner for Members of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ). The order is the highest honour that can be awarded to a New Zealander and it is a privilege to host people whose outstanding contributions have been recognised in this way.
This evening Dame Patsy and Sir David held a reception for the 2018 Rhodes Scholarship finalists. The eight finalists, Joel Bateman, Mattea Mrkusic, Rosie Collins, James Ranstead, Johann Go, Michelle Huang, Lucy McLean and Isobel Campbell, will be interviewed by the selection committee tomorrow but this evening was a chance for them to meet the committee and their fellow finalists informally. Good luck everyone!
Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a lunch for departing Heads of Mission at Government House on Wednesday. Congratulations to NZ High Commissioner to Malaysia, Mr Hunter Nottage; NZ High Commissioner to Singapore, Ms Joanne Tyndall; NZ High Commissioner to Rarotonga, Ms Tessa Temata and NZ Ambassador to Egypt, Mr Greg Lewis on their new postings.
Today Dame Patsy and Sir David received a farewell call from Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral John Martin and Sue Martin. After being mysteriously cropped out of yesterday's photo, Coco was back in the frame alongside ADCs LT Emily Keat and LT Caitlin Wiseman.
Yesterday, Dame Patsy officiated at the Armistice Day National Ceremony at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The peace bell tolled, the crowd joined in two minutes' silence, then stunning dance, music and song evoked the jubilation, relief and sorrow our forebears experienced in November 1918.
Later that day, Dame Patsy and Sir David returned to Pukeahu for a Sunset Ceremony. The ceremony included the final Last Post of the WW100 commemorations. The NZDF has been conducting a daily Last Post at Pukeahu every evening since Anzac Day 2015.
On Tuesday, Dame Patsy and Sir David laid a wreath at the New Zealand Memorial at Hyde Park Corner, accompanied by New Zealand's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, HE Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, our previous Governor-General.
The Memorial, named Southern Stand, was made by New Zealand sculptor Paul Dibble, whose First World War commemorative sculpture for Featherston will be unveiled this Saturday.
On Monday, Dame Patsy and Sir David had a busy day in Oxford, where they met up with our Rhodes Scholars and caught up with their news about their studies and their plans for the future. A fascinating visit to the Bodleian Library including opportunities to see rare maps and letters associated with New Zealand, along with items associated with the suffragette movement. UK women did not win the right to vote until 1918, 25 years after New Zealand led the world in women's suffrage. Today, special commemorations are being held in the UK Parliament to mark that important milestone.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex received an enthusiastic welcome from New Zealanders during their recent four day visit. We've put together a selection of images by photographer Mark Tantrum that tell the story of their time in New Zealand
The successful applicants in the Waitangi Day Garden Reception ballot have been selected and emails have been sent out. Congratulations to everyone who will be joining us at Government House in Wellington next year.
If you have not received an email (and have checked that it hasn't mistakenly ended up in your spam folder), please note that we have had a few emails bounce back. We will be getting in touch with those applicants by other means.
Dame Patsy and Sir David have been attending centennial commemorations of the liberation of Le Quesnoy by New Zealand troops in the closing days of the First World War. A special bond exists between the people of Le Quesnoy and New Zealand to this day, because the New Zealand troops chose not to use artillery, which would have resulted in destruction of the town and many civilian deaths. Instead the assault was via a ladder placed against the 17th century ramparts. Dame Patsy opened Le Jardin de la Paix, unveiled a friendship plaque and spoke at several commemorative events, including the New Zealand National Commemorative Service held 100 years to the day since the liberation of the town.
The Women in Infrastructure Network (WIN) was set up by Infrastructure New Zealand in 2016 to promote women in the sector. It now has over 1100 members in 7 chapters across New Zealand. Tonight's reception at Government House, hosted by former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, provided an opportunity to hear about efforts to get more women into leadership roles, some of the barriers women are still facing in the sector, and what WIN members themselves have said in a recent survey.
Dame Patsy and Sir David were delighted to host TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Government House at the beginning of their four day tour of New Zealand.
The North Lawn was the scene of the Ceremony of Welcome, featuring the NZDF cultural party and a tri-service Guard of Honour. Young New Zealanders from Paparangi Scout Group, Kairanga School (Feilding), Kelburn Guides and Maranatha Christian School were in attendance and the Royal couple were also treated to a fierce haka from from Hato Paora College.
Later that day, after a wreathlaying and public walkabout at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, the couple returned to Government House for calls with the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. This was followed by a reception in the Ballroom celebrating Suffrage 125.
The Duchess of Sussex gave a very well-received speech and guests also heard from New Zealand's poet laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh and singing group Le Art.
The evening finished with a kapa haka performance from Te Wharekura o Ngā Mokopuna.
A quick day trip to Christchurch today to see the new library, Turanga, and the newly restored Nurses Memorial Chapel. The chapel was erected in 1928 to honour the memory of nurses who died in the First World War and during the devastating influenza epidemic that swept through New Zealand in 1918. In particular, the chapel honours the ten nurses who died when the Marquette was torpedoed in the Aegean Sea, en route to Salonika. The chapel was built with public subscription and is considered to be a unique memorial to First World War nurses in New Zealand. The chapel suffered considerable damage during the Canterbury earthquakes, and a $2 million grant from Christchurch Council enabled the painstaking rebuild to be undertaken.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be visiting New Zealand from Sunday 28 October to Wednesday 31 October. Their four day tour will include time in Wellington, Auckland, Rotorua and the Abel Tasman National Park. You can follow the couple's activities on the Governor-General's Facebook, Instagram and twitter feeds (links in the sidebar!)
Here are the details of the Duke and Duchess's public appearances in New Zealand:
Wellington offers the first opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Their Royal Highnesses will be undertaking a public walkabout at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Wellington on Sunday October 28th between 4.45pm - 5.30pm.
Their Royal Highnesses will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and visit the newly unveiled UK War Memorial before meeting members of the public.
Triathlete Andrea Hewitt, criminal lawyer Nigel Hampton and former Private Secretary to the Queen,The Rt Hon Sir Christopher Geidt were among the 18 recipients who received their insignia in Christchurch yesterday at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand
Dame Patsy and Sir David attended a celebration at the Katherine Mansfield House and Garden marking 30 years since the opening of the House as a museum and the 130th anniversary of Katherine Mansfield's birth.
Dame Patsy had the honour of announcing that Katherine Mansfield's work has been published in Te Reo for the first time. Dr Karena Kelly, who translated Te Whare Tāre (A Doll's House), later read from the work.
The second announcement was that the House and Garden would be undergoing a redevelopment next year, with displays being refreshed, the roof being attended to and insulation and heating being installed.
56 Queen's Scout Award winners came together for an official photo with Dame Patsy and Sir David at today's ceremony at Government House. Congratulations to the recipients and to their proud parents and whanau who were their to witness their children's achievements.