On Friday 17 November, Dame Patsy and Sir David visited Al-Madinah School in Auckland. Al-Madinah School gives its students a typical Kiwi education as well as a solid grounding in Islam. AS well as touring the school, Dame Patsy and Sir David attended a school assembly where they were treated to a haka, a poi dance and a Tongan haka as well as a reading from the Qu’ran.
This afternoon Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted covenanters of the QEII National Trust, which collectively holds protected in perpetuity an area of privately-owned land equal to the size of Stewart Island. Despite the costs to landowners, there is high demand from New Zealanders who wish to protect precious ecosystems on their land. Congratulations to everyone in the National Trust for reaching the milestone of 40 years, and our thanks for the fantastic work they do to protect our precious flora and fauna.
The itinerary of the recent official visit of Dame Patsy and Sir David to Israel included Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum); lunch with HE Mr Reuven Rivlin, President of the State of Israel; a call on HE Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel; the unveiling of a Friendship Sign at Rishon LeZion, commemorating the friendship between New Zealand soldiers and the people of Rishon LeZion during the First World War; opening the 'Sand in the Apricot Jam' exhibition; attending New Zealand, Anzac and Turkish commemorative ceremonies to mark the centenary of the Battle of Beersheba; opening the Anzac Museum at Be-er Sheva; and meeting the Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr Rami Hamdallah.
Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a farewell for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Team at Government House in Auckland. Para alpine skiers Aaron Williams, Corey Peters and Adam Hall (and fourth team member, Para snowboarder Carl Murphy who was unable to attend as he was competing overseas) will head to South Korea in February on the hunt for medals and personal bests. #spiritofgold
Today Dame Patsy will be officiating at the swearing-in ceremony for new Ministers of the Crown at Government House in Wellington. Government House will be livestreaming the ceremony from 11am. You can also access the live stream via the Governor-General's Facebook page.
During this ceremony, the Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy, will exercise her reserve powers to appoint Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister and as an Executive Councillor.
The ceremony will also involve the appointment of a new Executive Council; a meeting of the Executive Council at which councillors will take their oaths and affirmations; the appointment of Executive Councillors to Ministerial portfolios, and the appointment of Parliamentary Under-Secretaries.
Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a State Dinner in honour of President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins at Government House in Wellington last night. Dame Patsy showed the couple the portrait of New Zealand's first Governor, Captain William Hobson, who was born in Ireland.
Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a reception to launch Nga Taonga's new patronage initiative at Government House this evening.
Nga Taonga are the keepers of New Zealand's sound and vision treasures and they're facing the massive task of preserving 200,000 betacam video tapes of TV footage from the 1980s. The tapes are deteriorating faster than Nga Taonga can save them and it's estimated they only have eight years before the tapes degrade completely. They're asking New Zealanders for help saving this valuable collection.
Once again we were hugely inspired by the stories of transformation and achievement at the Graeme Dingle Foundation Awards ceremony at Government House Auckland tonight. We wish Sir Graeme and Lady Dingle all the very best with their vision to ensure all young New Zealanders have a chance to develop their potential.
On Friday 13 October, Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted a showcase of Matairangi Mahi Toi Pasifika artist in residence Lindah Lepou's works. Lindah is a fashion designer whose garments are more artworks than clothing. All Lindah's designs feature Pasifika elements and innovative use of traditional materials. The works in the showcase were created during Lindah's three month residency in a cottage in the grounds at Government House.
The Matairangi Mahi Toi artist in residence programme is operated jointly by Government House and Massey University.
On 12 October, Dame Patsy and Sir David attended a national commemoration at Pukeahu National Memorial Park to mark the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, where New Zealand suffered its greatest loss of life on an overseas battlefield.
Dame Patsy was delighted to host the Frances Clarke Awards at Government House for the second time since her term began. The awards, organised by the Wellington Down Syndrome Asociation, recognise and encourage achievement by people with Down Syndrome.
The three recipients Fletch Gallagher, Brendon Porthouse and Stephen Williams were delighted with their cups and certificates and Sue Elsworth was recognised for her outstanding contribution to the Wellington Down Syndrome community.
Today was a busy one for Dame Patsy and Sir David with a quick trip to Auckland to open the Halberg Disability Junior Games then back to Wellington to host an award ceremony for St John. Congratulations to the 90 cadets from all around New Zealand who received their St John Grand Prior Awards and good luck to all the Games competitors.
Dame Patsy wishes to acknowledge the passing of kaumatua Lewis Moeau, QSO who was an advisor to former Governors-General Sir Anand Satyanand and Sir Jerry Mateparae. Lewis's wise counsel and gentle manner were greatly appreciated by Sir Anand and Sir Jerry and he was highly regarded by the Government House staff he worked alongside. Dame Patsy will be sending her condolences to Lewis's family. Lewis is pictured here explaining the ceremony of welcome to the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel at Government House in Auckland in 2014, with Sir Jerry and Lady Janine in the Blundell Room at Government House last year and greeting Prince William on his arrival at Government House at the beginnning of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's State Visit in 2014.
On Friday 29 September, Dame Patsy visited the school where she spent her secondary school years - Hamilton Girls High School. Dame Patsy addressed an assembly and also took the opportunity to answer questions about her role from staff and students.
On Thursday 28 September, Dame Patsy and Sir David attended the Kudos Awards Dinner in Hamilton. The Awards acknowledge excellence in science in the Waikato region. Dame Patsy presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to earth scientist Professor Peter Kamp, whose work has helped develop understanding of tectonic plates and earthquake risk.
On Thursday 28 September, Dame Patsy and Sir David attended the Maori Women's Welfare League Conference in New Plymouth. Dame Patsy addressed the delegates, acknowledging their leadership in their communities.
Coco was much in evidence this week at Government House, photobombing a photo of Dame Patsy meeting Warrant Officers from Tonga, Fiji, Singapore and Australia and also making an appearance during the morning tea with Government House artist in residence Lindah Lepou.
Despite being an ardent supporter of gender equity, Coco stayed upstairs during Tuesday night's White Camellia Awards honouring businesses promoting gender equity through the Women's Empowerment Principles. We're not sure what Coco would say in support of the winners. Woof, probably.
On Saturday 16 September, Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted the planting of two Pennantia baylisiana trees at Government House in Auckland. The tree planting was part of Mayor Phil Goff's Million Trees initiative which will see 1 million native trees planted across Auckland over three years. The tree planting was attended by representatives from Auckland Council and Trees That Count,one of the supporters of Million Trees. Some of the grandchildren of Sir Frank and Lady Mappin, the family that established Government House Auckland's beautiful gardens were also present.
All Blacks, Black Ferns and police were the thing today with an All Blacks skills and drills session being held at Government House and a trip to Counties Manukau to find out how police are reducing family harm and youth crime in their district.