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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • Visit to Oxford

    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.

    Image Gallery

  • Royal Visit overview

    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

    Royal visit image gallery  


  • Waitangi Day Garden Reception ballot announcement

    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.

    If you have any queries, please email our invitations secretary


  • Le Quesnoy centennial commemorations

    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.

    Speech transcript        Image Gallery       Image Gallery

  • Women in Infrastructure Network Reception

    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 Silvia's speech transcript         Image Gallery

    Dame Silvia Cartwright and WIN advisory board
  • TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Government House

    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.

    Ceremony of Welcome for TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

    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. 

    Evening reception image gallery

  • Visit to Christchurch

    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.

    Image Gallery              Speech transcript

    an image of Dame Patsy unveiling the plaque to mark the restoration and re-opening of the Nurses Memorial Chapel
  • Royal Visit Information

    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!)

    Official media release

    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.

    For all updates on parking and road closures follow Wellington City Council's Facebook page.


    Aucklanders can see the Duke and Duchess atViaduct Harbour between 3.55pm-4.20pm on Tuesday, 30th October. The Royal couple will be on walkabout on the wharf from Brigham St to Karanga Plaza.


    The Duke and Duchess will undertake a public walkabout in the Government Gardens in Rotorua on Wednesday October 31st between 3.30pm and 4.00pm.

    The Duke and Duchess will walk along Queen's Drive.

    This will be the couple’s sole walkabout outside Auckland and Wellington.

    For all updates about parking and road closures keep an eye on the Rotorua Lakes Council Facebook page and website

    Image of the Duke and Duchess

  • Call from the President of Estonia

    This afternoon Dame Patsy received a call from the President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid. Ms Kaljulaid is Estonia's first female head of state and became its youngest ever President in 2016.

    President Kaljulaid's twitter feed

  • Credentials - Thailand, France and Japan

    Today Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted credentials ceremonies for the diplomatic envoys of Thailand, France and Japan.

    Image gallery

    Image of The  Ambassador of Thailand HE Mr Danai Menabodhin inspecting the Guard of Honour

    Image of a hongi for Ambassador of the Republic of France, HE Ms Sylvaine Carta-Le Vert

    an image of The Ambassador of Japan, HE Mr Hiroyasu Kobayashi

  • Christchurch Investiture

    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

    Investiture images

    Image of Andrea Hewitt, of Christchurch, MNZM, for services to triathlon

    Image of Nigel Hampton, of Christchurch, CNZM, for services to the law

    Image of The Right Honourable Sir Christopher Geidt, of London, QSO, for services as Private Secretary to The Queen of New Zealand

  • Katherine Mansfield House and Garden anniversaries

    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.

    Event images

    Dame Patsy's speech


    Image of the tent at the Katherine Mansfield House and Garden

    Image of Dame Patsy being presented with a copy of Te Whare Tāre, the first Te Reo translation of The Dolls House -

  • Queen's Scout Awards

    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.

  • Auckland Investitures - Friday 12 October

    Netballer Tracey Fear, ONZM and historian and novelist Dr Deborah Challinor, MNZM, were among the 12 recipients who received honours at Government House Auckland this morning.

    Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with honour recipients
  • Auckland investitures - Thursday 11 October PM

    This afternoon twelve deserving honour recipients were presented with their insignia for outstanding services to tourism, business, Maori, health, conservation, music, equestrian sport, children and art, the horse racing industry, the Japanese community, people with disabilities, music, and the Pacific community.

    Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with the honour recipients
  • Auckland Investitures - Thursday 11 October AM

    Congratulations to Sir John Rowles who receved the insignia of a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit at Government House in Auckland today. Sir John was honoured for services to entertainment and was one of 12 New Zealanders who were acknowledged, variously, for their service to Maori, the State, local government, the community, Paralympic sport, hockey, film television and media technology, the cheese industry, conservation, the Samoan community, the arts, education and Chinese culture.

    Photos of all recipients

    Image of Sir John Rowles, of Auckland, KNZM, for services to entertainment

  • Auckland Investitures - Wednesday 10 October AM

    Yachtsmen Peter Burling and Blair Tuke and our newest Dame, Emeritus Professor Dame Charmian O'Connor were among the 13 New Zealanders who were honoured for their contributions in education, chemistry, children's health, sailing, contemporary dance, special education, performing arts, youth, disabilities, science education, sport, Maori, philanthropy and the Asian communities at Government House in Auckland today.

    Image gallery

    Image of Peter Burling, of Tauranga, MNZM, for services to sailing  

    Image of Blair Tuke, of Auckland, MNZM, for services to sailing

    Image of Dame Charmian, wearing the korowai 'Kahurangi'

  • Auckland Investitures - Tuesday 9 October, PM

    The outstanding achievements, service and contributions of twelve people were recognised at this afternoon's investiture ceremony at Government House Auckland, including Robert Kerridge, ONZM, long associated with the promotion of animal welfare; Geoffrey Blanks, ONZM, who has promoted  the development of live comedy performance in New Zealand; Faye Sumner, CNZM for her roles in the medical technology sector and Leanne Graham, MNZM for her achievements in the software industry.

    Image Gallery

  • Auckland Investitures - Tuesday 9 October AM

    Hip-hop pioneer DJ Sir-Vere and Black Fern Fiaoo Faamausili were amongst those acknowledged for their acheivements at Government House in Auckland today . Congratulations to all today's recipients.

    Investiture images

    Image of Philip Bell - DJ Sir-Vere - of Auckland, ONZM, for services to music

    Image of  Fiao’o Faamausili, of Auckland, ONZM, for services to rugby

  • Auckland Investitures- Monday 8 October PM

    Congratulations to the 12 amazing New Zealand women who received the insignia of their orders today at a special ceremony celebrating Suffrage 125 at Government House in Auckland.

    The Topp twins and singer Jackie Clark were honoured for their services to entertainment as were those who had made a significant contribution in the areas of health, sport, education and conservation.

    Photo gallery

    Image of Jacqueline Clarke, of Auckland, MNZM, for services to the entertainment industry

    Image of Dane Patsy with Dame Jools Topp and Dame Lynda Topp

  • The 2018 Halberg Games

    This afternoon Dame Patsy officially opened the 2018 Halberg Games, where 150 physically disabled and visually impaired young athletes have come together from around New Zealand to compete in 20 different sports. The Games will finish on Sunday.

    Speech transcript

    an image of -	Her Excellency, RT Hon Patsy Reddy and Halberg Youth Council member Victoria Baldwin officially opening the Games at the Halberg Games Opening Ceremony, King’s College Auckland
    an image of -	Shelley McMeeken, Victoria Baldwin, Thomas Chin, Holly Robinson, Her Excellency, Rt Hon Patsy Reddy, Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Hon Peeni Henare, Paul Tesoriero and Hon Carmel Sepuloni
  • 2019 Waitangi Day Garden Reception Ballot

    *** Update 8 October: The ballot has now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. We'll let everyone know whether they've been successful or not by November 1st. ***

    There are only a few days left to enter the ballot for invitations to next year's Waitangi Day Garden Reception.

    This year the venue is Government House in Wellington and we're looking forward to a wonderful afternoon, marking Waitangi Day with a large group of our fellow New Zealanders.

    Entries close Friday 5 October.

    Enter here

    Image of the crowd at the Bledisloe Reception 2015 Government House Wellington

  • Investiture Ceremony 27 September PM

    The final investiture ceremony for the week included honours for media personalities Richard Griffin and Grant Nisbett, and recognition for services to swimming, lifesaving, conservation, poetry and literature, musical play therapy, Maori and education, the Tokelauan Community, dentistry, the State, and rugby and historical research. Congratulations to all sixteen recipients for their well-deserved recognition.

    Image Gallery

    an image of Their Excellencies with the honours recipients
  • Wellington Investiture - Thursday 27 September AM

    Pacific Island leader Dame Winnie Laban, and Flying Nun records founder Roger Shepherd were amongst the 16 New Zealanders honoured for their work and community service this morning at Government House in Wellington.

    Image gallery

    Image of Dame Winnie Laban, wearing the korowai Kahurangi
    Image of  Roger Shepherd, of Wellington, ONZM, for services to the music industry

  • Wellington Investitures -Wednesday 26 September AM

    Representatives from our fire and emergency, police and defence force communities were amongst the 15 New Zealanders recognised for their service at this morning's investiture in Wellington.

    Michael Riley was also recognised for an act of exceptional bravery for his efforts in dealing with an armed gunman at a McDonald's store in Upper Hutt.

    Image gallery

    Image of    Michael Riley, NZBD, for an act of exceptional bravery in a situation of danger

  • Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards 2018

    Last Saturday night, New Zealand designers gathered to honour their peers at the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards. Dame Patsy presented the top award, the John Britten Black Pin to Rik Campbell and Steve Le Marquand, whose digital design company Resn has offices in New Zealand, the Netherlands and China, and has won over 250 international awards.

    Speech transcript           Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy with Rik Campbell and Steve Le Marquand, winners of John Britten Black Pin Awards
  • Wellington Investiture Tuesday 25 September PM

    The film, television, theatre and fashion worlds were well represented at this afternoon's investiture ceremony at Government House in Wellington. Film and television producers Larry Parr and Ainsley Gardiner, playwright and scriptwriter Briar Grace-Smith and NOM*d designer Margarita Robertson were amongst the 18 New Zealanders being honoured.

    Scroll down to see the ceremony video.

    Image gallery

    Image of Larry Parr, of Wellington, ONZM, for services to film and television

    Image of Ainsley Gardiner, of Whakatane, MNZM, for services to film and television

    Image of Briar Grace-Smith, of Paraparaumu, ONZM, for services to theatre, film and television

    Image of Margarita Robertson, of Dunedin, ONZM, for services to the fashion industry

  • Wellington Investiture Tuesday 25 September AM

    Sir William English was knighted this morning at Government House in Wellington. He was one of 15 New Zealanders who received their insignia from Dame Patsy. Congratulations to all this morning's recipients!

    Image gallery

    Image of Sir William English and Dame Patsy Reddy

    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with the recipients

  • Investiture Monday 24 September

    This evening 16 New Zealand women received their insignia from Dame Patsy at an investiture at Government House in Wellington. The all-women ceremony was held to acknowledge the acheivements of women in the 125 years since women's suffrage was granted.

    Amongst the recipients were sex workers' rights advocate Dame Catherine Healy, equal pay advocate Kristine Bartlett and food writer Annabel Langbein

    Image gallery

    Image of Dame Catherine wearing korowai Te Iti Kahurangi

    Image of Kristine Bartlett, of Lower Hutt, CNZM, for services to equal pay advocacy

    Image of Annabel Langbein, of Auckland, ONZM, for services as a food writer

  • ArtCrime2018: The Symposium

    There's a lot more to art crime than just stealing paintings. Looting, forgery, war crimes and the murky details of provenance were all on the agenda at ArtCrime2018:The Symposium in Wellington today. Dame Patsy opened the symposium and stayed on for the first two presentations - "Edward Bullmore's Icon No.3 and its Troubled Provenance" and "Toppled Trooper: the Fractured History of a NZ Wars Statue"

    Dame Patsy's speech

    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David  with Judge Arthur Tompkins, Chair of the NZ Art Crime Research Trust and Elizabeth Caldwell, Director, City Gallery

  • Suffrage 125

    Yesterday marked 125 years since the passing of the Electoral Act 1893, which enabled women to vote in Parliamentary elections for the first time.  To celebrate that victory, and New Zealand's pioneering role in women's suffrage, Dame Patsy hosted a morning tea for Maori Dames in Auckland, followed by a Government House Wellington dinner attended by half of New Zealand's living Dames, along with female members of the Order of New Zealand and female Chief Executives of government agencies. The guest speakers were the Government Science Adviser, Professor Juliet Gerrard, and Thomasin McKenzie, grand-daughter of one of the guests, Dame Kate Harcourt.

    Speech transcript       Image Gallery

  • Women's Suffrage

    This week we are celebrating the 125th anniversary of the passing of legislation which enabled New Zealand women to vote in Parliamentary elections. New Zealand led the world in this ground-breaking constitutional change, and in 1993, to mark the centenary, a special suffrage medal was awarded to 544 people who had contributed to women's empowerment in New Zealand. The list of recipients can be accessed at



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