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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • Anzac Day Message from the Governors-General of Australia and New Zealand

    Ka maumahara tonu tātou kia rātou - We will remember them.

    We mark tomorrow's Anzac Day commemorations with a message from The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand and His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley, Governor-General of Australia.

    Scroll down for video. The text in full

    NZGG: Kia ora koutou. Greetings. Anzac Day is an opportunity to remember, reflect and honour those who have served in our Defence Forces.

    AusGG: It is also a day that binds Australia and New Zealand. A day to recognise our shared history, our mateship and our commitment to each other. That is why Dame Patsy and I, on behalf of all Australians and New Zealanders, want to again mark Anzac Day together.

    NZGG: Last year, marches could not be held, there were no pilgrimages to historic battlefields and we were unable to gather together on Anzac Day. Yet the importance of Anzac Day - to all of us - was still very evident. Despite the pandemic, people found a way to mark the day. In towns and cities across our countries, people rose at dawn and ventured down their driveway to stand and honour the service of our forebears.

    We showed out commitment to honouring the Anzac legacy by taking time to stop, remember and say a quiet ‘thank you’ to those who have sacrificed themselves for our nations.

    AusGG: If anything, last year showed the relevance of the Anzac legacy to the modern generation.

    Anzac Day is about remembering the past and honouring those men and women whose service and sacrifice in conflicts long-passed helped create the world we enjoy today. It is, though, not just about history. It is very much about the here and now.

    It is as much about those who serve in uniform today or who have served in recent years as it is about our ancestors who served alongside each other at Gallipoli. Our modern veterans exemplify the Anzac legacy and, through their service, enhance it. Anzac Day is for them.

    NZGG: It is a day when our modern veterans and those who are in uniform should know that we are grateful for their service. It is also for their loved ones. The parents, husbands, wives, partners and children who support them – while they serve and in the years that follow. Their love and support and, for some, their sorrow and loss, are part of the story of our military history.

    AusGG: On Anzac Day 2021, as we continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia and New Zealand will again stop – to reflect, remember and honour those who have served. As we do, we should recognise the unique and unbreakable bond between our countries.

    NZGG: We will reflect on the Anzac legacy and how our modern veterans have played their part in taking that history forward.

    AusGG: And we should recognise acknowledge the support provided and sacrifice made by the loved ones of those in uniform. Lest We Forget.

    NZGG: Ka maumahara tonu tātou kia rātou

  • Auckland Investiture 23 April PM 2021

    This afternoon's investiture ceremony brought investiture week in Tāmaki Makaurau to a close.

    Congratulations to the final seven recipients who received the insignia of their honours for services to neuroscience and education; health; sustainable business and harness racing; education; agriculture and the community and people with disabilities.

    Photos and information about the recipients

    Image of Professor Emeritus Louise Nicholson, of Snells Beach, for services to neuroscience and education

    Image of Dr Tim Malloy, of Warkworth, ONZM, for services to health


  • Auckland Investiture 23 April AM 2021

    Acknowledging more notable New Zealanders for their services to Aotearoa - including business supremo Rob Fyfe and former Split Enzer and guitar pedal inventor Paul Crowther.

    Congratulations to the seven recipients at this morning's ceremony who were recognised for services to business and tourism; philanthropy, education and health; education; music; sustainable business and Fair Trade; and conservation.

    More images 

    Image of Mr Rob Fyfe, of Auckland, CNZM, for services to business and tourism

    Mr Paul Crowther, of Auckland, MNZM, for services to music

  • Auckland Investiture Ceremony 22 April PM 2021

    Eight more New Zealanders were acknowledged for their achievements at an investiture ceremony at Government House in Auckland this afternoon.

    They were recognised for services to the judiciary; karate; basketball; Māori and conservation; Pacific dance; dance and seniors and Māori,

    More images 

    Image of The Honourable Tony Randerson, CNZM, of Auckland, for services to the judiciary

    IMage of Mrs Hoki Purcell, of Hamilton, QSM, for services to seniors and Māori

    Image of Mr Owen Purcell, of Hamilton, QSM, for services to seniors and Māori

  • Auckland Investiture Ceremony 22 April AM 2021

    The Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Dame Juliet Gerard, received her damehood this morning at Government House Auckland. Dame Juliet was appointed to the role of Chief Science Advisor in 2018, following Sir Peter Gluckman. She is currently a professor in the School of Biological Sciences and Chemical Science at the University of Auckland, specialising in protein science.

    One of our most well-known athletics coaches was also recognised today with Arch Jelley receiving a CNZM. He has coached several of our most famous runners, including Olympians and multiple national champions.

    More photos

    Mr Arch Jelley, Dame Patsy Reddy

  • New Zealand State Memorial Service for HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

    This afternoon New Zealand's State Memorial Service for HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was held in Wellington's Cathedral of St Paul. Dame Patsy delivered the eulogy and the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, delivered a reading.

    Eulogy transcript

    Image Gallery

    Video of the service

  • Auckland Investiture Ceremony 21 April 10am 2021

    One of Aotearoa’s most well-known singer/songwriters, Sir Dave Dobbyn, received his knighthood today at this morning’s investiture ceremony. He was recognised for his distinguished career which began in 1979 when he fronted Th’Dudes, DD Smash in the 1980’s and also a decades-long solo career.

    Among those joining Sir Dave was barrister Denise Ritchie, a barrister who has done incredibly important work to prevent sexual violence and exploitation of children and Professor Ian Reid for his research focused on osteoporosis.

    More photos

    Distinguished Professor Ian Reid, Dame Patsy Reddy

  • Auckland Investiture Ceremony 20 April 3pm 2021

    Former Kiwi Ferns captain and three-time New Zealand Rugby League women’s player of the year Honey Hireme was among the recipients receiving their New Zealand honours this afternoon at Government House Auckland.

    She was joined by six other recipients, including Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau The Rt Rev Te Kītohi Pikaahu. At age 37 when he was appointed in 2002, he held the distinction of being the youngest bishop in the global Anglican community.

    Former Green Party Member of Parliament Keith Locke also received an honour for services to human rights advocacy.

    More photos

    The Right Reverend Te Kītohi Pikaahu, Dame Patsy Reddy

  • Auckland Investiture Ceremony 20 April 10am 2021

    This morning six recipients were honoured at their investiture ceremony in Auckland, as well as the family of one recipient who had sadly. Recipients include Distinguished Professor Marson Conder, for his contributions to mathematics and Afamasaga Vaafusuaga Telesia Alipia, who has done amazing work in Pacific early childhood education.

    Dame Patsy discovered a connection to one of this morning’s recipients, Mr Rowan Garrett, who received his QSM for services to brass bands. Mr Garrett and Dame Patsy’s father, Neil Reddy, were both foundation members of the Kerepehi Brass Band in 1946. Mr Garrett joined the band as a 10 year old and has been a member for the past 70 years.

    More photos

    Mr Rowan Garrett, Dame Patsy Reddy

  • Auckland Investiture Ceremony 19th April 3pm 2021

    This afternoon began the Auckland investiture ceremonies celebrating the New Year 2021 New Zealand honours recipients. Seven recipients were honoured today, including Dr Sally-Ann Harbison, for services to forensic science and Rosslyn Noonan, for services to human rights. Ms Noonan was Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission and is currently Vice-Chairperson for Amnesty International New Zealand.

    Receiving Aotearoa’s highest honour, the Order of New Zealand, was Dame Anne Salmond. She joins a very select few who have been conferred with the Order of New Zealand, which is Aotearoa’s highest honour.

    Distinguished Professor Dame Anne Salmond and Dame Patsy Reddy

    There are only 20 living members of the Order at any one time and insignia are passed on from previous recipients. The insignia Dame Anne received was last worn by Dame Te Atairgangikaahu, Te Arikinui of Tainui from 1966 to 2006.

    Dame Anne, who is Professor of Maori Studies and anthropology, is a former New Zealander of the Year, and highly regarded for her work as an eminent historian, presenter, advocate and teacher.

    More photos

  • Sister Cities NZ 40th Anniversary Reception

    Dame Patsy hosted a reception for patronage organisation Sister Cities New Zealand, as they celebrated 40 years of global connection and diversity.

    There are close to 160 sister city relationships currently active in New Zealand, encompassing cities and regions in around 24 countries.

    Sister Cities New Zealand aims  to foster international understanding in order to encourage an exchange of education and culture, and where possible, tourism and trade as catalysts for mutual economic growth.

    Congratulations on 40 years of encouraging friendship and co-operation.

    More images

  • Credentials Wellington April 2021

    Dame Patsy received the credentials of the new diplomatic envoys from Thailand and Turkey at Government House in Wellington. The Guard of Honour and Maori Cultural Group were supplied by the Royal New Zealand Navy. 
    The Royal New Zealand Airforce Band provided the music.

    More images

    Image of Ambassador of Thailand HE Mr Pornpop Uampidhaya

    Image of Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey HE Mrs Ömür Ünsay

  • Public Sector Dinner

    Last night Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted Public Sector leaders, including Chief Executives of Government Ministries, Departments and agencies. She thanked them for their responsiveness over a particularly challenging year.

    Speech transcript

    Dame Patsy with Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Sir Wira Gardiner
  • Investiture for Justice Sir Joe Williams

    Today Dame Patsy and Sir David travelled to Manaia Marae on the Coromandel Peninsula, where Dame Patsy conferred the insignia of a knighthood on Justice Sir Joe Williams, the first Maori to be appointed as a judge in the Supreme Court. Hundreds of people came to celebrate Sir Joe's accolade, and the guests included the Chief Justice, Dame Helen Winkelmann, Supreme Court judges, the Hon Nanaia Mahuta, and Dame Tariana Turia.

    Following the investiture, a future-focussed wananga in the afternoon focussed on topics such as Crown-iwi partnerships, wellbeing, education, and tikanga in dispute resolution. Dame Patsy was one of the speakers, reflecting on her experience representing the Crown - as a Chief Crown Negotiator and in her current role as Governor-General.

    Image Gallery

    Speech Transcript

  • Sweet Louise morning tea in Wellington

    Following on from the successful Auckland event, it was Government House Wellington's turn to host members of Sweet Louise for morning tea this week.

    Sweet Louise is a charitable organisation who help people with incurable breast cancer live as long as possible, as well as possible.

    The charity provides free support to anyone diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, through meetings, one-on-one support and help with essential items. 

    Around 32 members of Sweet Louise and staff were given a guided tour of the House followed by a morning tea.

    Dame Patsy and Sweet Louise CEO Cathrin Devonald spoke, with Dame Patsy talking about her memories of the original Louise, Louise Perkins, who lived with a terminal diagnosis of breast cancer for 10 years and whose husband Scott launched Sweet Louise to honour her memory and support others in the same position.

    Image of Dame Patsy with members of Sweet Louise

    Image of Dame Patsy with members of Sweet Louise


  • Sweet Louise Morning Tea at Government House Auckland

    This morning, Dame Patsy had the privilege to welcome members to Government House Auckland for a special morning tea (extra special for one member, as it was her birthday!)

    Sweet Louise is a charitable organisation, with the main aim of helping people with incurable breast cancer live as long as possible, as well as possible. The charity provides free support to anyone diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, through meetings, one-on-one support and help with essential items. A large part of what they do is provide their members with positive experiences. 

    Dame Patsy Reddy, Sir David Gascoigne, Terry Mikkelsen and Marion Mikkelsen

    Sweet Louise was created by Scott Perkins in the memory of his late wife Louise, who passed away in 2004 after being diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years prior. Dame Patsy, who was her friend, spoke of Louise’s positivity and love of new adventures. Sweet Louise does amazing work helping others living with breast cancer share the positivity that defined the charity’s namesake.  

    They currently assist around 750 people in New Zealand living with advanced breast cancer, the majority being women.

    More photos

  • NZ Army 175th Commemoration Beat Retreat and Sunset Ceremony

    Dame Patsy took the Royal Salute and inspected the Guard of Honour at a Beat Retreat and Sunset Ceremony commemorating 175 years of the New Zealand Army at Pukeahu National War Memorial in Wellington this evening. The New Zealand Army Band performed music from the First World War to the current era, with the musical tributes ending with a rousing '1812 Overture', accompanied by the guns of 163 battery, 16 Field Regiment, Royal NZ Artillery. The Last Post and a bagpipe lament rounded off the ceremony.

    More images

  • New Zealand Pipe Band Championships 2021

    Dame Patsy broke out the McNeil tartan to attend the New Zealand Pipe Band Championships in Hastings this afternoon.

    Accompanied by the Mayor of Hastings Sandra Hazlehurst, Dame Patsy and Sir David watched the finals of the mace flourishing - always impressive - and Dame Patsy also lent a hand with the prize giving.

    More images

    Video of both days of competition

    Image of Dame patsy and Sir david with the official party

    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst

    Image of pipers ready to march on

  • Jayforce Commemoration

    Today New Zealanders who served in Jayforce were honoured at their first National Commemoration at Pukeahu, and subsequently at an afternoon tea at Government House.

    Jayforce personnel served in the occupying forces in post-war Japan, and today marks 75 years since the first contingent arrived from Italy. Subsequent contingents included volunteers from New Zealand. During their time in Japan, the New Zealanders assisted with demilitarisation, repatriation of Korean nationals to Korea, the supervision of returning Japanese prisoners of war and an election where Japanese women voted for the first time.

    On their return to New Zealand, the Jayforce veterans received little recognition. It was not until the 1960s that they could join the RSA, and they finally received their service medals in the 1990s.

    Commemorative Address

    Image Gallery

    Jayforce at Government House

    Speech transcript

    Dame Patsy with Captain Graham Boswell and Mrs Beryl Boswell
  • Community Networks Wellington afternoon tea

    This afternoon Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted an afternoon tea for the member organisations of Community Networks Wellington who worked tirelesly to support others during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    The member organisations encompass more than 400 professionals - and a large number of volunteers - working in the community and social sector in Wellington, Hutt Valley and Porirua, supporting in excess of 10,000 vulnerable people in the community.

    With a vaccine now being rolled out to the community, there is some hope that the worst days are behind us. CNW Co-Chair Mike Hinton spoke for everyone when he said we don't know what the new normal will look like but "the goal is a more compassionate and just society."

    Image of Dame Patsy, Sir David and the official party

  • The Address in Reply 2021

    This morning the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard came to Government House to present the Address in Reply. The Address in Reply is the House's thanks to the Governor-General for delivering the Government's legislative and policy programme for the new Parliament to consider.

    The text of the Address reads as follows: "We the House of Representatives, thank you for the speech addressed to us when you opened this 53rd Parliament. We assure you that the matters referred to in your speech will receive our careful consideration. Ko te tumanako nei kia mahi tahi tatou katoa.

    Dame Patsy and the Speaker, the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard
  • Afternoon tea for DC Wally Haumaha

    The core role of the New Zealand Police in ensuring people are safe and feel safe is built on a core set of values:

    • Professionalism
    • Respect
    • Integrity
    • Commitment to Māori and the Treaty
    • Empathy and
    • Valuing Diversity.

    Today's afternoon tea acknowledged the work that Deputy Wally Haumaha has done over a long career, particularly in the area of commitment to Māori and the Treaty, reaching across te ao Māori to find solutions and connections in some of the most complex and difficult occasions in our country's history.

    Today's speakers speakers were supported with some impressive waiata, including a rousing rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Caii-Michelle Baker.

    More photos

  • Ko Tātou, Tātou, We Are One National Remembrance Service

    This afternoon a National Remembrance Service - Ko Tātou, Tātou, We Are One - was held in Christchurch to honour those killed and injured in the Christchurch mosque terror attack two years ago.
    Speaking alongside Dame Patsy, PM Jacinda Ardern and Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel were representatives of the Muslim community, the bereaved families and Muslim youth affected by the event.
    Temel Atacocugu - who was shot nine times and still lives with the after-effects, including shrapnel in his body - gave an emotional address on behalf of the injured.
    Most moving of all, the roll call of names and photos of the 51 people killed in the attack.

    The full service can be viewed on Youtube.

    Dame Patsy's speech

    Image of Temel Atacocugu speaking on behalf of the injured

  • Inzone afternoon tea

    Inzone boarders live close by to Government House Auckland and today's afternoon tea for senior students was a great opportunity to hear about the wonderful opportunities the programme offers to Maori and Pasifika students to access education and explore their potential. Dame Patsy and Sir David enjoyed meeting the students, many of whom come from remote locations in the North Island. 

    Image Gallery

  • Aotearoa Circle meetings in Auckland

    Despite the demands placed on the leadership of public and private sector leaders in the Aotearoa Circle, they have continued their vital work to transform the way New Zealanders live their lives and do business, with the goal of creating a sustainable future. The two forums Dame Patsy hosted at Government House Auckland this week were a chance to get updates on the workstreams (sustainable finance, energy, marine domain and national food strategy), to debate the issues and give feedback, and to hear from guest speakers: Jo Hendy, Chief Executive of the Climate Change Commission and HE Laura Clarke, the British High Commissioner who spoke about the UK's initiatives to combat climate change, and the COP26 meeting in Glasgow this November.

    Speech transcript

    Speech transcript

    Image Gallery

    Image Gallery

  • Sir George Elliot Tertiary Scholarship 2020

    Congratulations to the three Sir George Elliot Tertiary Scholarship winners who were officially acknowledged at Government House in Auckland this morning.
    Tess Connolly, Tristan Mona and Madeleine France received news of their selection last year but the original event was postponed due to Covid-19. A familiar story!
    The scholarships are awarded to Auckland secondary school students who have demonstrated academic achievement, community leadership and have overcome adverse circumstances.
    Good luck with your studies Tess,Tristan and Madeleine!

    Image of Tess Connolly

    Image of Tristan Mona

    Image of Madeleine France

  • Graeme Dingle Foundation 25th Anniversary

    Congratulations to the Graeme Dingle Foundation who celebrated 25 years of empowering our tamariki and rangatahi to have the bright futures they deserve.

    More than 300,000 young people's lives have been touched by the work of the Foundation and guests heard first-hand testimony from Ayla Dellaway about the difference the organisation's programmes had made in her life.

    The last speech belonged to Sir Graeme Dingle, who thanked the people who'd been there for the Foundation since the beginning and stated the importance of changing the statistics and making New Zealand the best place for children to grow up.

    Finally guests were treated to a performance from 'Resonate', who impressed with their tight harmonies.
    Find out more about the Foundation's work

    More images

    Image of Sir Graeme Dingle speaking
    Image of Dame Patsy and Ayla Dellaway
  • Auckland Art Fair

    Dame Patsy and Sir David visited the Auckland Art Fair this morning.

    A showcase for dealer galleries and artists, the Fair also offers opportunities for art lovers of all kinds to view one of a kind artworks, attend artist talks and even try some creative 'mark-making' of their own.

    Following a welcome by representatives of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, Dame Patsy and Sir David's first stop was the Gow Langsford Gallery to take a look at some 20th century works from Frances Hodgkins, Colin McCahon and sculptor Henry Moore.

    Galleries from all around New Zealand were represented with some Australian galleries also sending works. Rarotonga's Bergman Gallery was there in person with some stunning work from Mahiriki Tangaroa and Sylvia Marsters which caught Dame Paty's eye.

    Another favourite were the Present Tense projects - works from upcoming contemporary practitioners which incorporate objects designed to be given away to audiences. Becky Richard's An Egg, A Seed, A Stone's clay forms are intended to be incorporated in the users everyday life - a pacifier, a comforter, a meditation object. The choice is yours!

    More images

    Image of Dame Patsy with John Gow

    Image of "An Egg, A Seed, A Stone" by  Becky Richards


  • Christchurch Earthquake 10th Anniversary Memorial Service

    Today Dame Patsy went to Christchurch to attend the ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of the earthquake that wrought massive destruction in Christchurch and the Canterbury region. The assembled crowd honoured the memory of the 185 people who lost their lives and the first responders who worked to save people trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings and vehicles. Dame Patsy read a message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

  • Southland Regional Visit, Day Four, Rakiura

    At the wharf at Oban, there was a quick check of our luggage by ace rat-detecting dog, Detector Gadget before we boarded the Department of Conservation vessel taking us to Ulva Island, a predator-free sanctuary for endangered flora and fauna.

    On the island, we heard kakariki, and saw kieke, weka, and Stewart Island robins. A juvenile sea-lion watched us eat our lunch, and on the trip back to Oban flocks of titi flew overhead. 

    DoC staff then drove us to the beginning of the Rakiura track, before returning to the Rakiura Museum, the perfect place to learn about Rakiura's fascinating history from local people whose complex whakapapa reflects the intermingling of nationalities in the island's history.

    Image Gallery

  • Southland Regional Visit, Day 3

    The visit to Riverton had particular significance as Dame Patsy had recently learned of the slight to the community by Governor James Fergusson in 1874. The Governor had decided to change his itinerary and thereby arrived several hours late for a civic reception and lunch. To add insult to injury, he left the town soon after he had changed his horses.

    Dame Patsy's visit to Te Hikoi gave her an opportunity to 'make amends' with the community and to learn more about Southland's heritage of sealers, whalers, loggers, miners, and the intermingling of cultures and personal histories in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    Image Gallery 

    Their Excellencies with a replica settler house, built without nails
  • Southland Regional Visit 2021, Day Two

    Day two of the visit to Southland began at the Eastern Southland Gallery in Gore, home of the extraordinary John Money Collection of African sculptures, Aboriginal paintings and objects, and works by Rita Angus. Dame Patsy and Sir David also saw some of the Gallery's Ralph Hotere collection, as well as a stunning exhibition of contemporary works by Sue Cooke.

    Gore's Networking Trust was next on the agenda. Their Excellencies learnt about the different agencies working under the umbrella of the Trust, and their work to improve the wellbeing of youth, families and elderly people in the community.

    Then it was back to Invercargill to Transport World to see some of its 300 vintage vehicles, including Henry Ford letter cars, as well as an ever-increasing range of fascinating memorabilia.

    The day concluded with a cultural evening with the Southland Multicultural Council, where Their Excellencies met members of ethnic communities that have settled in the region.

    Image Gallery Eastern Southland Gallery

    Image Gallery Community Networking Trust

    Image Gallery Transport World

    Southland Multicultural Council


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