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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • 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



  • Dress for Success Wellington

    Dress up was the theme for the Dress for Success Wellington reception, hosted by Dame Patsy at Government House in Wellington. Committed to empowering women find success, Dress For Success provides women with clothing and development tools to help them find jobs and keep them.

    Dress For Success client Rheanna Taylor Robertson soke. There was also a fashion parade and unsurprisingly, a pop-up shop of gently used clothing proved popular.

    Image of Dame Patsy with Dress for Success board members and staff

  • Tuesday 11 September

    It was a case of hello and goodbye today at Government House. Coco watched on as Dame Patsy and Sir David welcomed the latest Matairangi Mahi Toi - Massey Artist in Residence to Government House. Horomona Horo is a Taonga Puoro composer and practitioner, who has collaborated with groups and artists from the NZ String Quartet to Fat Freddy’s Drop. We’re looking forward to hearing the work his time at Government House inspires.

    Image of Dame Patsy speaking

    Later,  the outgoing Ambassador of Portugal, Paulo Cunha Alves arrived for a farewell call. All the best for your new posting, Your Excellency

    Image of Ambassador of Portugal HE Paulo Cunha Alves with Dame Patsy


  • Women's Sport Leadership Academy

    Last night, Dame Patsy congratulated the New Zealand Olympic Committee for promoting leadership roles for women in New Zealand sports organisations. Seventeen of the first intake of the NZOC's Women's Sport Leadership Academy were presented with graduation certificates. 

    All of the women previously represented New Zealand at the Olympic Games and many of them are already involved in coaching, mentoring, and governance roles at national and international level.

    Speech transcript        Image Gallery

  • Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Young Science Leaders Forum

    Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Young Science Leaders Forum in association with the Eureka! Awards at Government House in Wellington.

    The young science leaders attending were challenged to examine a significant issue facing New Zealand and make recommendations. In this case, the issue was the "Agriculture Dilemma" - do we have the balance right between well-being, the environment and economic production and if not, what steps do we need to take to optimise that balance?

    Some fairly in-depth discussions took place, guided by advice from some top scientists and after lunch, the recommendations were reported back to Dame Patsy.

    She also presnted the Sir Paul Callaghan Eureka! Premier Award to George Mander. 

    Photo gallery

    Image of Dame Patsy speaking

  • Visit to St John's Auckland headquarters

    We gained a new appreciation of St John's work today during our visit tuo its Auckland Headquarters. The call-centre staff have to respond calmly and clearly to people who are distressed, injured or ill, and the dispatchers have to monitor operations around the country. We also saw how much ambulances have evolved, and how their sophisticated medical and communications equipment is making a significant difference to patient outcomes.

    Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy and Sir David at the St John Headquarters garage
  • Consular Reception in Auckland

    Last night Dame Patsy hosted a reception for members of the Consular Corps in Auckland.

    Image Gallery

  • Northern Club Lunch

    Governors-General have a long association with the Northern Club and today Dame Patsy and Sir David were invited to a lunch where Dame Patsy spoke about her goals during her term of office and answered questions about our constitutional arrangements. Their host was Victoria Carter, the first ever female President at the Club.

    Speech transcript

  • 2018 White Camellia Awards

    Winners of the 2018 White Camellia Awards this evening were Westpac, ANZ, Sovereign and Ebborn Law. We were inspired by the determination and enthusiasm of the representatives from these organisations, and hope other organisations will follow their example.

    The White Camellia Awards are jointly run by UN Women, the Human Rights Commission, Diversity Works, BPW New Zealand and Zonta. Judges recognise businesses that are promoting gender equity by introducing measures that support the UN's Empowerment Principles; leadership promotes gender equality; equal opportunity, inclusion and non-discrimination; health, safety and freedom from violence; education and training; enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices; community leadership and engagement; and transparency, measuring and reporting. 

    Dr Jarrod Haar outlined some of the more significant conclusions from the UN Women's Empowerment Principles Survey 2018, which showed some gains, but areas where businesses are lagging behind.

    Speech transcript      Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy and the Westpac team
  • The Wallace Art Awards

    This is the 27th year of the Wallace Art Awards, and it's bigger than ever, attracting over 400 entries. The finalists' works are currently on display at Pah Homestead in Auckland, the home of the Wallace Arts Trust, and will then travel to selected galleries around New Zealand. Dame Patsy was on hand to congratulate the Award winners, some of whom will travel to Europe and the United States to take up residencies.

    Speech Transcript      Image Gallery

    an image of Dame Patsy with Wallace Art Awards winners
  • Christchurch visits

    Dame Patsy made two visits to Christchurch this week. On Thursday, she visited Burnside High School in Christchurch for a tour of their art department and a chance to met the young people involved with 'Into Motion', a student initiative bringing together high school students from around Canterbury to discuss gender equality. In the afternoon, she was the opening speaker at the Canterbury Women’s Legal Association’s Professional Women’s Conference.


    On Saturday, Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted receptions for the Christchurch recipients of the Queen's Guide Award and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Aotearoa New Zealand- Hillary Gold Award at the Airforce Museum of New Zealand.


  • Credentials ceremonies

    Dame Patsy hosted credentials ceremonies for the diplomatic envoys from Russia, the Netherlands, Ireland, Pakistan and Laos at Government House in Wellington.

    Morning ceremonies

    Afternoon ceremonies 

    an image of Professor Piri Sciascia greeting HE Mr Peter Ryan, The Ambassador of Ireland

    Image of Ambassador of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, HE Mr Sisavath Inphachanh

  • Visit to Kaibosh in Wellington

    Yesterday Dame Patsy and Sir David paid a visit to Kaibosh Food Rescue, which collects and distributes food to over 65 charities around Wellington. The organisation's mantra of 'Zero Waste, Zero Poverty' is eliminating needless waste, providing nutritious food to people in need, and keeping tonnes of food out of our landfills. Over 200 volunteers give their time to keep the operation going.

    an image of Dame Patsy with Matt Dagger, General Manager
  • Queen's Guide Awards

    Comgratulations to the 45 young women who received their Queen's Guide awards at Government House at the weekend. Well done and best of luck for the future.

    Queen's Guide Award photos

    Image of the Queen's Guide award presentation in front of the portrait of the Queen

  • Visit to Rocket Lab

    Dame Patsy and Sir David visited Rocket Lab in Auckland and it was just as cool as you'd imagine. Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck gave Their Excellencies an overview of the company's mission to open access to space to improve life on earth, and took them on a guided tour of Mission Control as well as the factory where the rockets are built.

    Rocket Lab images

    Image of a powerpoint display at Rocket Lab

  • State Visit by the President of the Republic of Poland

    Dame Patsy and Sir David welcomed the President of the Republic of Poland, HE Andrzej Duda and Agata Kornhauser-Duda at Government House in Auckland. Wet weather meant the planned ceremonial welcome had to be curtailed but the Presidential couple were still greeted with a hongi and the presentation of a dart before meeting with Dame Patsy.

    After the welcome, Dame Patsy accompanied Their Excellencies to the Auckland Museum for a wreath laying and later hosted a dinner for the couple and members of the New Zealand Polish community at Government House. 

    Welcome photos

    Dinner photos

    Image of the Dame Patsy and  President of the Republic of Poland, HE Andrzej Duda

    Image of Dame Patsy, Sir David and the President of the Republic of Poland, HE Andrzej Duda and Agata Kornhauser-Duda

  • Scottish Country Dancing Society New Zealand Branch 50th Anniversary Ball

    Last night, Scottish Country Dancing enthusiasts came from around New Zealand to attend a ball to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the New Zealand branch of the Scottish Country Dancing Society.

    Speech transcript


    an image of Dame Patsy with Elaine Laidlaw
  • Whanganui Visit day 3

    The theme of the day was aviation as Dame Patsy and Sir David officially opened the  New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy then headed to Ohakea for a welcome at RNZAF Turangawaewae and then a tour of No 14 and No 3 Squadrons

    New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy

    RNZAF Turangawaewae

    No 14 Squadron

    No 3 Squadron

  • Whanganui Day 2

    The second day of the Whanganui visit started with a trip to the Gonville Community Library to meet the Gonville knitting group. Dame Patsy also read a story to a group of pre-schoolers.

    Pacific Helmets is celebrating 40 years of manufacturing top quality helmets for the New Zealand and international markets. Dame Patsy and Sir David toured the factory and also received their very own American style "Fire Chief" helmets.

    Next it was off to First Vets to meet the Kotuku Foundation and their wonderful assistance dogs. Dame Patsy got cuddle time with new puppy Lyra, who has just started her training.

    The evening ended with a community reception where Dame Patsy and Sir David were able to mix and mingle with guests from Whanganui businesses and community organisations.

    Gonville Community Library 

    Pacific Helmets

    Kotuku Foundation

    Community Reception


  • Whanganui Visit - Day One

    Dame Patsy and Sir David's first day in Whanganui began with a powhiri at Putiki marae which was followed by Dame Tariana Turia's investiture. The day finished with a visit to Glassworks and a chance to play with glassmaking techniques


    Dame Tariana Turia investiture


    Image of Dame Patsy with Dame Tariana, who is Wearing a cloak and holding the sword of Te Keepa, a link to Queen Victoria

    Image of dame Patsy and Philip Stokes inspecting the paperweight


  • 2018 New Zealand Business Hall of Fame Gala Dinner

    Our thanks to the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame for forwarding images from the Gala Dinner on 27 July, which acknowledged New Zealanders who have made outstanding contributions to New Zealand business: Tony Nightingale, Alan Gibbs, James Dilworth, Dame Trelise Cooper, Bill Buckley, Elspeth Kennedy, Graeme and Craig Turner, and Sir Russell Matthews.

    Image Gallery             Speech Transcript

    an image of Dame Patsy with Precorqtion Rawiri and inductee Dame Trelise Cooper
  • 125th anniversary of the founding of Home and Family Counselling

    The whakatauki "Manaakitia te tangata ahakoa ko wai, ahakoa no hea" (Take care of others, no matter who they are, no matter where they come from) sums up the kaupapa of Home and Family Counselling, who have looking after the needs of individuals, couples and families in Auckland for 125 years. It was an absolute pleasure to host staff and supporters at Government House Auckland, acknowledge the vital work that they do, and celebrate their big milestone.

    Speech transcript         Image Gallery

  • Royal New Zealand Ballet 65th anniversary

    Staff and dancers past and present were invited to Government House to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Displays of costumes and other memorabilia and a birthday cake addded to the party atmosphere. 

    Image of Dame Patsy, RNZB artistic director Patricia Barker and RNZB executive director Frances Turner cutting the cake

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