Nine recipients were honoured today at Government House, including Sir Robert ‘Bom’ Gillies; the last surviving member of the Māori Battalion. Sir Robert served in B company during World War 2, and has been active in representing the Battalion at official commemorations ever since.
Dr Jonathan Godfrey received an ONZM for services to disabled people, particularly blind and low vision people. He is President of the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand and Senior Lecturer in Statistics at Massey University, mentoring blind students internationally in this subject area.
Former Director-General of the Department of Conservation, Lou Sanson, received his QSO this afternoon at Government House. One of his many achievements in his eight years at DOC was overseeing the Predator Free New Zealand Strategy. Also among this afternoon’s recipients was David Brunsdon, being honoured for services to engineering and emergency management. He was New Zealand Urban Search and Rescue's lead engineer following the Christchurch earthquakes. Other recipients were honoured for their contributions across the fields of agriculture, sport, healthcare, and music.
Eleven recipients were welcomed to Government House for their investiture this morning including former National President of New Zealand Red Cross, Dr Jenny McMahon. Dr McMahon was honoured for her work with the aid organisation, who she first became involved with in 1983.
Receiving today’s top honour was Professor Sir Jim Mann, who has pioneered research into non-communicable disease prevention and management for over 30 years. He was the inaugural director of Otago University’s Edgar National Centre for Diabetes and Obesity Research, which opened in 2004.
Today, Dame Cindy presented Honours recipients with insignia recognising outstanding achievements and service. Eminent author Emeritus Professor Sir Vincent O'Sullivan received the accolade when he was re-designated from a DCNZM to a KNZM. Recipients were also recognised for their services to science, health, victims of family and sexual violence, the legal profession, conservation, Māori, inclusive education, the community and philanthropy.
Dame Cindy and Dr Davies started their Anzac Day by attending the Dawn Service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The service included performances by the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir, and readings by Air Marshal Kevin Short, Chief of Defence Force, and BJ Clark, President of the RNZRSA. Following the service, Their Excellencies went for coffee and Anzac biscuits at Mt Cook School, where they were pleased to meet a number of veterans who were in attendance, as well as Willie Apiata VC.
Following the Dawn Service earlier this morning, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies attended the Anzac Day National Service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. The Service began with a flypast from three T6-C Texan aircraft, and featured performances from the New Zealand Youth Choir.
You can find more images from the Dawn and National Commemoration Services, and Dame Cindy's Anzac Day addresses via the following links:
When Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei welcomed Dame Cindy and Dr Davies to Ōrākei Marae earlier this year, they presented Their Excellencies with a tukutuku panel that represents the maunga of Tāmaki Makaurau. Today, 'Rūaumoko' was unveiled in place in the Pavilion at Government House Auckland. The taonga takes its name from the Māori God of earthquakes and volcanoes.
Government House Auckland is situated at the base of Maungawhau/Mount Eden, which is one of the many dormant volcanoes that make up the landscape of Auckland.
In honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies welcomed some familiar faces back to Government House for a dinner on the 9th of April. Former Governors-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Sir Jerry Mateparae and Sir Anand Satyanand, along with Sir David Gascoigne, Lady Janine Mateparae and Lady Susan Satyanand, returned to Te Whare Kāwana o Te Whanganui-a-Tara for the occasion.
When Queen Elizabeth II became New Zealand’s monarch in 1952, Lt Gen the Lord Freyberg was Governor-General. So far, during Her Majesty’s reign Aotearoa New Zealand has had 16 Governors-General.
Dame Cindy welcomed eight new diplomatic representatives to New Zealand today at Government House, with the return of full-scale credentials ceremonies.
Presenting their letters of credence were: HE Mr Jose Emilio Bustinza Soto, Ambassador of the Republic of Peru; HE Dr Mohamed Said Khalifa Al Busaidi, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman; HE Mr Riadh Dridi, Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia; HE Dr Radu-Gabriel Safta, Ambassador of Romania; HE Mr Michel Goffin, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium; HE Mr Margers Krams, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia; and HE Mrs Dianela Joselina Pi Cedrés, Ambassador of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Dame Cindy also offically welcomed HE Ms Harinder Sidhu, the new High Commissioner of Australia.
You can find more photos from the ceremonies here:
This week the ICC Women's World Cup tournament is approaching its final stages. Dame Cindy and Dr Davies hosted Cup personnel and New Zealand team captain, Sophie Devine, at a reception at Government House, where Dame Cindy, Hon Grant Robertson and Rt Hon Trevor Mallard were presented with souvenir bats that had been signed by captains of the eight teams taking part in the tournament.
Yesterday Dame Cindy went to one of the semi-final matches, between Australia and the West Indies, at the Basin Reserve.
Dame Cindy recently spent the week in Auckland, meeting with some remarkable organisations and individuals supporting their communities and fellow New Zealanders.
On Wednesday morning, Dame Cindy met with Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, who, among his many esteemed roles, leads Koi Tū: The Centre for Informed Futures – an independent and apolitical think tank and research centre based at the University of Auckland. Koi Tū recently released a report on sustaining Aotearoa as a socially cohesive society. Dame Cindy also met with Dame Helen Winkelman, the Chief Justice, to discuss her inaugural report on the New Zealand courts' response to COVID-19.
The following morning, Dame Cindy paid a visit to the to the SPCA Centre in Māngere, to meet the team of brilliant staff and volunteers, as well as a few of the furred and feathered residents. The SPCA is a charity committed to the welfare of New Zealand animals: from the prevention of cruelty and animal rescue, to sheltering and rehousing. The SPCA relies on the support of the New Zealand public and its network of dedicated volunteers, and works tirelessly on behalf on New Zealand's most vulnerable animals.
Dame Cindy then visited Papatoetoe West School in Auckland, and got to see the Garden to Table programme in action. Garden to Table is a charitable trust which seeks to empower tamariki to grow, harvest, prepare, and share great food. Last year, more than 22,000 children across Aotearoa took part in the programme, spending more than 30,000 hours in the garden and kitchen, and eating more than 800,000 vegetable-based meals.
In the evening, at Government House, Dame Cindy hosted the official launch of Multiethnic Young Leaders NZ – an organisation seeking to eliminate barriers for ethnic New Zealanders and tangata whenua entering leadership spaces. Through its work, MYLN hopes to unlock the full leadership potential of all young people in New Zealand.
On Friday morning, Dame Cindy visited one of the TROW Group's projects in Glen Innes. TROW works to support a circular economy and create a more sustainable construction sector by repurposing over 90% of the materials it salvages. TROW also works closely with organisations such as the Tāmaki Regeneration Company, Tāmaki College, and the Fono, to improve social outcomes and enable community projects, both locally and in the Pacific.
Dame Cindy completed the trip with meetings with Turuki Healthcare, and with the Tindall Foundation. Turuki Healthcare provides whānau-based health, wellness, and social services to people in South Auckland. TTF was founded by Sir Stephen and Lady Margaret Tindall, and works throughout New Zealand to help ensure families, communities, and the environment can thrive now and in the future. To date, TTF has given out more than $200 million to New Zealand communities, organisations, and charities.
You can find more images of Dame Cindy's trip via the following links:
On Thursday, in a very special ceremony held at Government House Auckland, the Governor-General was invested as Dame of Justice of St John and installed as the Prior of St John, while Dr Davies was invested as an Officer of St John.
The investiture service for a new Prior would usually take place in the United Kingdom with the Duke of Gloucester in attendance. However, with Dame Cindy unable to travel overseas last year, this was the first time the service has taken place in New Zealand. The service included a karakia, short welcome and address by John Whitehead, Chancellor of St John, the investiture of both Dame Cindy and Dr Davies, followed by the installation of Dame Cindy.
The Order of St John is an ancient, international organisation, which operates in New Zealand to meet the health and wellbeing needs of New Zealanders. St John comprises both a paid and volunteer workforce, and helps in areas as diverse as an emergency ambulance service, modern emergency call centre, medical alarms, first aid training and kits, health shuttle services, a youth programme, caring callers, hospital volunteers, opportunity shops, and pet therapy.
The Prior is the head of the Order, and the role provides a unique opportunity for the Governor-General to be a part of one of the most respected and far-reaching organisations in New Zealand. Dr Davies will also serve St John as the Patron of Community Health Services.
Yesterday Dame Cindy hosted two events at Government House to celebrate Commonwealth Day 2022. The New Zealand Olympic Committee and guests attended a morning reception where NZOC Kuia Ranui Ngarimu and Kaumatua Ta Derek Lardelli presented Poupekapeka, a magnificent pounamu brooch to Dame Cindy, in recognition of her role as Patron. The Queen's Baton was then presented to Dame Cindy by Nigel Avery, New Zealand's Chef de Mission for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games; Olympic swimmer Lewis Clareburt; and former Olympic heptathlete Sarah Cowley Ross.
In the evening, Dame Cindy hosted a Commonwealth Day celebration that featured a military trumpet fanfare; Dame Cindy delivering Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Commonwealth Day message; a speech from the Prime Minister, delivered by Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Minister for Youth; a speech by Kaya Selby, Commonwealth Youth New Zealand representative; Indian classical dance; and reflections from interfaith representatives. There were uplifting moments in the messages of collaboration, connection, friendship and peace and the opportunity for guests to hold the Queen's Baton were a symbolic reminder of the Commonwealth ties between nearly one third of the world's peoples.
Today, Dame Cindy hosted a virtual credentials ceremony for three new Ambassadors based overseas. Presenting credentials were HE Mr Ibrahim Shaheeb, Ambassador of the Republic of Maldives; HE Mr Darius Degutis, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania; and HE Mr Mirlan Arstanbaev, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic.
This morning Dame Cindy spoke at an inspiring and informative virtual hui of the Aotearoa Circle, a cross-sector group that is working on developing roadmaps for a sustainable future for Aotearoa New Zealand. Hon Dr Megan Woods and Hon James Shaw also shared their thoughts on how government can work with other sectors to bring about change. Many thanks to all the sector leaders who have voluntarily given their valuable time, insights and expertise to arrive at a consensus and develop roadmaps for the future of low carbon energy, the seafood industry and mana kai (a food strategy) in Aotearoa.
Dame Cindy and Dr Davies welcomed members of the Girls’ Brigade and Boys’ Brigade who achieved to the highest level their respective organisations. The Queen’s Badge, Loyal Perseverance and Queen’s Award recipients have dedicated years to community service, spiritual and physical education and building leadership skills.
After the ceremony, guests made the most of the stunning Wellington weather with a picnic on the Government House lawn.
This morning, Dame Cindy held credentials ceremonies for three new Ambassadors to New Zealand. HE Mr Wang Xiaolong, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China; HE Mr Nguyen Van Trung, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and HE Mrs Fientje Maritje Suebu, Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia presented their credentials and began their new diplomatic postings to Aotearoa New Zealand.
Seventy years ago, on 6 February 1952, a 25-year-old Princess Elizabeth asceded the throne, and became Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms. In this, the Platinum Jubilee year, we celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years as Queen of New Zealand, reflect on the remarkable nature of this achievement, and acknowledge Her Majesty’s extraordinary life of service.
You can read Her Majesty’s Accession Day statement, and find further information relating to the Platinum Jubilee in New Zealand here.
This year was a departure from New Zealanders’ previous experiences of our national day. Most Waitangi Day gatherings were curtailed or cancelled due to public health considerations, but the advent of pre-recorded broadcasts enabled a broad audience to witness a thoughtful national conversation about what our national day means to us in 2022.
A range of perspectives was eloquently represented in the contributions of the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and other political leaders, the Chief Justice and iwi leaders, thereby affirming the constitutional significance of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the evolving relationship between Treaty partners.
As Government House’s customary Waitangi Day garden reception could not be held this year, manaakitanga was instead extended to a neighbouring social service, the Wellington City Mission’s Social Supermarket, and in Auckland, to the RNZSPCA.
Today, 6 February is also a particularly significant anniversary for New Zealand’s Head of State, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, as it marks 70 years since Her Majesty's accession to the Crown. Buckingham Palace has published a message from Queen Elizabeth to mark the occasion, and Dame Cindy joins New Zealanders and people around the world in congratulating Her Majesty for an extraordinary record of devoted service.
This morning Dame Cindy welcomed the 2021 recipients of the Sir George Elliot Tertiary Scholarships. The scholarships have been awarded each year since 1999, recognising a student's academic ability, contributions to the community and achieving success through adversity. Congratulations to Ali Hussaini from Otahuhu College, Hirimaia Eketone from Avondale College and Vicki Chow from Epsom Girls Grammar.
Sir George Elliot was a successful businessman and philanthropist. He established the trust just prior to his death in 1956 to ensure his legacy would continue to benefit communities in Auckland.
Today's recipients have recently graduated from high school in Auckland. Receiving this scholarship will assist them as they begin the next stage of their education at University.
Ali, Hirimaia and Vicki now join the 67 other recipients to receive this scholarship since it began over two decades ago.
Last night at Government House, Their Excellencies enjoyed a real festive treat, with the Virtuoso Strings Orchestra playing a special Christmas concert. Established in 2013, and with acclaimed New Zealand-Samoan opera singer Jonathan Lemalu as its patron, Virtuoso Strings provides a safe and inclusive environment for young people to explore their musical talents. Its long-term mission is to help make New Zealand's orchestras more reflective of our country's cultural and socioeconomic makeup. The performance was a highlight of Dame Cindy's term so far, and a reminder of the true joy of music.
You can find more images from the event here, and Dame Cindy's speech here.
The final investiture ceremony for the year saw eight recipients receive their honours across a wide range of fields, including one of our most capped Black Ferns. Kendra Cocksedge received an MNZM for her outstanding rugby career, during which she won the Women’s Rugby World Cup twice and playing over 50 test for our national team. Also honoured was Professor Angus Macfarlane, for his contributions to education, psychology and Māori.
This afternoon's investiture ceremony welcomed eight recipients to Government House Wellington. These New Zealanders were acknowledged for their work across: the public service, music, education, nursing, governance, wildlife conservation and the community.
This round of Wellington investitures will conclude with tomorrow morning's ceremony.
This afternoon, Dame Cindy welcomed 11 further recipients to Government House for their investiture ceremony. They included former Mayor of Masterton, Bob Francis, who was honoured for his extensive contributions to the Wairarapa District, including his role as Chair of national wildlife centre Pūkaha Mount Bruce and the co-founding of the Wairarapa Development Group.
Also recognised was Mrs Taualoa Lalopua Sanele, who was a driving force in the campaign to amend the Employment Relations Act, in order to protect the jobs and working conditions for cleaners.
Renowned artist Sir Grahame Sydney KNZM, economist Suzanne Snively (Honorary DNZM) and champion freediver William Trubridge MNZM were among the extraordinary New Zealanders who received their insignia for Queens Birthday honours at this morning's investiture ceremony at Government House.
Ten recipients were welcomed to Government House Wellington this afternoon to receive their insignia, including former Member of Parliament Hon Ruth Dyson. Ruth Dyson, who retired from Parliament in 2020, was recognised for her time as an MP representing constituents in Christchurch, and holding Ministerial roles in the fifth and sixth Labour Government. It was noted the significant impact she had while Minister for Disability Issues, including helping recognise sign language as an official language of New Zealand.
Also being honoured was Sgt Andy Brooke, for services to search and rescue. Sgt Brooke has been with New Zealand Police since 1981 and is Officer in Charge of the Manawatu Police Search and Rescue Squad.
This morning at Government House Wellington, Dame Cindy had the pleasure of presenting insignia to seven recipients of Queen's Birthday Honours. Dame Hinewehi Mohi (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tūhoe) was among the recipients, for her contributions to music, television production, charity work, and advocacy for te reo and tikanga Māori. Dame Hinewehi is perhaps best known for singing the New Zealand national anthem in te reo Māori at the 1999 Rugby World Cup at Twickenham – the first time this had been done at an international rugby match. The late Dave Cull was also honoured for his immense contributions to the city of Dunedin during his time as Councillor and later Mayor. Other recipients were acknowledged for their work across health, sport, conservation, education, and ethnic communities.
This morning's investiture ceremony honoured the service of nine New Zealanders who have helped to make New Zealand a better place through their work in various fields: in support of victims of sexual violence; secondary school sport; plant science; bowls; paralympic sport; conservation; medical education; cancer support; and the community.
This afternoon at Government House Wellington, eight remarkable New Zealanders received their insignia, following their inclusion on the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours List. They included Mr Jack Thatcher, for his services to Māori and education, and Ms Sarah Stuart-Black, Secretary General of the New Zealand Red Cross. Recipients were also honoured for their service across sport, health, and the arts in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This morning eight recipients received their insignia at Government House Wellington, including National President of the Council of Women, Vanisa Dhiru. Ms Dhiru led the NCWNZ’s Gender Equal NZ campaign, and she is also Chief Executive of Volunteering New Zealand.
Also honoured this morning were five recipients from Fire and Emergency New Zealand, who are being recognised for their indispensable work across Aotearoa.
This afternoon marked the beginning of the Wellington investiture ceremonies, honouring the 2021 Queen's Birthday New Zealand Honours recipients. Recipients came from right across the country – from Hastings to Geraldine. Among those receiving insignia today were Mrs Margaret Baker, for her services to the Special Olympics, and Mrs Margaret Chapman, ex-President of Rural Women New Zealand. Invesiture ceremonies will continue through until early next week.
After a quick trip in an NH90 helicopter, Dame Cindy and Dr Davies were welcomed onto the New Zealand Army Marae, before attending the New Zealand Commissioning Course Graduation 2021 at Waiouru Military Camp. The marae was famously carried in place by hundreds of soldiers, and is the only marae in the country to face the setting sun to signify the Army watching the backs of the nation.
Following the welcome on the marae, it was time for the New Zealand Commissioning Course Graduation. The 31 cadets have completed the challenging 11 month course, which is a real test physically and mentally. Now the cadets have graduated as officers, they are on the path to become leaders within Ngāti Tūmatauenga New Zealand Army.
Yesterday evening Dame Cindy and Dr Davies honoured the 18 rangatahi who recently graduated from the BGI (Wellington Boys' and Girls' Institute) Challenge for Change programme. BGI has been helping young people of Wellington since 1883, teaching them life-skills through awesome experiences. Yesterday’s graduates from Challenge for Change have completed a year-long partnership with their mentors, and spoke about what they learned in the programme. One mentee, Zion, gave his first-ever live performance on the guitar, playing a classic from Green Day.