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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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


  • Southland Regional Visit, day one

    Due to the restrictions on gatherings under Alert Level Two, a scheduled powhiri for Dame Patsy and Sir David at Te Rau Aroha marae in Bluff was cancelled and will be re-scheduled at a later date. Dame Patsy and Sir David visited Stirling Point to see the famous international signs and the sculptured chain that symbolises the links between Te Waipounamu/the South Island and Rakiura/Stewart Island.

    They then went to Invercargill to meet local supporters of the Southland Charity Hospital, which is being developed at the site of a previous tavern. The project was initiated by Melissa Vining as a memorial to her late husband, Blair Vining, and has attracted financial support from across Aotearoa and around the world.

    Image gallery

    Dame Patsy and Sir David with a Bluff sculpture signifying links with Rakiura/Stewart Island
  • Dress for Success reception

    This evening Dame Patsy hosted a reception for Dress for Success, which works to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing professional work clothing, career development tools and a support network.
    Two Dress for Success clients shared their stories with guests and a fashion parade showcased New Zealand designers before turning attention to outfits styled by the Dress for Success team.
    The Pop-Up Shop in the Conservatory did bumper business with many guests picking up some fashion bargains.

    Image of Dame Patsy with the Dress for Success models

    Image of Dame Patsy with Philippa Wells, Helen Corrigan, Irene Corpuz, Arzoo Sayeddah, Ayesha Ratanpal from Dress for Success

  • Governor-General’s XI v NZ Māori Schools Cricket Match

    Despite the blustery weather at Karori Cricket Club, it was a great afternoon for the annual Governor-General’s XI v NZ Māori Schools cricket match. This year, the captains presented Dame Patsy with signed cricket bats as a memento of the day. The two-day competition is designed to give cricket more visibility in Māori communities, and is part of making cricket in New Zealand a game for everyone to get involved in.  

    While in Wellington, all the teams stayed at Pipitea Marae to have an immersive experiance connecting with tikanga.

    The day at Karori ended up being a very sucessful outing for all of the Governor-General's teams; the Womens XI won by 102 runs and the Boys XI won by 15 runs.

    Scroll down for video of two of the games, courtesy of New Zealand Cricket's YouTube account.

    More photos

    The four captains with Dame Patsy Reddy

  • Mary Potter Hospice Camellia Heritage Club 20th Jubilee Morning Tea

    This morning Dame Patsy hosted a high tea in the ballroom at Government House in Wellington to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Mary Potter Hospice Camellia Heritage Club. The Club was formed to thank and recognise those who have promised a gift in their will to Mary Potter Hospice. In honour of the Club, a special camellia- patterned Foley tea-set was used at Dame Patsy's table with other pieces on display. The Hospice relies heavily on fundraising and gifts and bequests as only around half of its yearly operating budget is funded by the Government.

    More images

    Image of guests at the morning tea

    Image of the Foley tea set with a pink camellia pattern

  • Waitangi Day 2021

    This year's Waitangi Day Garden Reception was smaller than in other years, but certainly made up for it in terms of a warm sense of community and fellowship. The nearly 500 guests included MPs, four local mayors, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, former Governors-General Sir Anand Satyanand and Sir Jerry Mateparae and former Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer. MC Ward Kamo set the tone for a wonderful afternoon and the grey skies were replaced by sunshine. The Army band played magnificently, Government House Kaumatua Joe Harawira provided a karakia, and Dame Patsy delivered her final Waitangi Day Address in her role as Governor-General, where she spoke of the centrality of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in our understanding of who we are as a nation.

    Speech transcript

  • Beat Retreat at Waitangi 2021

    For the final event during her visit to Waitangi, Dame Patsy inspected the Guard of Honour at the 2021 Beat Retreat Sunset ceremony, hosted by the Royal New Zealand Navy. She was greeted on arrival by Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor. Along with more traditional tunes, the Navy band treated the gathered crowds at Waitangi Treaty grounds to their version of Stan Walker’s ‘Aotearoa’ – a particularly appropriate song choice as the ship Dame Patsy is sponsor of, the HMNZS Aotearoa, was anchored offshore. 

    Dame Patsy Reddy on a podium observing the Guard

  • Waitangi National Trust Board and Diplomats Luncheon

    Dame Patsy and Sir David began their final day at Waitangi by attending a meeting of the Waitangi National Trust Board. While they were there they were able to have a quick viewing of the He Kaupapa Waka exhibition.

    Later it was off to Russell for the annual luncheon with the members of the Diplomatic Corps.

    More images

    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David with the members of the Waitangi National Trust Board

    Image of Dame Patsy with the members of the Diplomatic Corps

  • Reception aboard the HMNZS Otago

    This evening Dame Patsy was welcomed aboard the HMNZS Otago for a reception as part of the Waitangi celebrations in Northland. She was greeted on arrival by part of the ship’s company and saw a performance from the Navy’s kapa haka group. Chief of Navy RA David Proctor spoke of the many areas the Navy has been assisting with this past year; everything from research in Antarctica to helping with New Zealand’s Covid response efforts.

    The reception was also a chance for former Governor-General and the HMNZS Otago’s sponsor, Dame Silvia Cartwright, to see how her ship was getting on.

    Dame Patsy also met Te Hemo Ata Henare, who is deputy chair of national weavers’ committee Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa. They organised the weaving of Dame Patsy’s tarapouahi (flax shawl) Hine Maioha, which she wore earlier that day at Te Whare Rūnanga on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

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    A group performs kapa haka

  • Pōwhiri at Te Whare Rūnanga

    On February 4, Dame Patsy was welcomed on to Te Whare Rūnanga at Waitangi Treaty Grounds for the final time as Governor-General. She was greeted with a stirring pōwhiri while being guided to the mahau by Titewhai Harawira. The speakers included veteran broadcaster Waihoroi Shortland and Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon. In Dame Patsy’s speech, she urged all New Zealanders to visit Waitangi to better understand what it means live in Aotearoa. Also welcomed with Dame Patsy and Sir David was Chief of Defence AM Kevin Short and Chief of Navy RA David Proctor.

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    Dame Patsy Reddy and Waihoroi Shortland

  • The Dedication of He Rua Whakautu mō te Riri

    On the 3rd of February Dame Patsy attended the unveiling ceremony of a memorial for the 12 British soldiers, sailors and Royal Marines killed at the Battle of Te Ruapekapeka in 1846. The battle was the final of the Northern Wars, fought between around 400 Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Hine warriors against 1600 British armed forces.

    The commemoration ceremony, also attended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and British High Commissioner Laura Clarke, took place on the site where the British troops camped 175 years ago and where the British who fell were buried in a mass grave. The grave was rediscovered in 2017 after an archaeological dig set out to find the missing soldiers.

    Those with keen eyes could look up to the Pā at the top of the hill and see where the innovative earthworks and shelters constructed by the 400 Maori defenders shape the landscape to this day.

    The commemoration acknowledged all those who fought at Te Ruapekapeka and the different perspectives of the events of that day.
    He Rua Whakautu mo te Riri - In remembrance of the Conflict

    Speech Transcript

    To learn more about the Battle of Te Ruapekapeka, please visit 

    More photos

    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David laying a wreath at the Te Ruapekapeka commemoration

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