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The Governor-General's blog

The official blog of the Governor-General of New Zealand

  • West Coast Visit - Day One

    Image of Dame Patsy speaking at Arahura Marae
    Dame Patsy and Sir David received a warm welcome at Arahura marae on the first day of their three day visit to the West Coast. 

    Lunchtime saw them meeting with local DOC staff for a round up of the opportunities and challenges facing conservation in the region, followed by a trip to the West Coast Treetop Walkway and a walk along the newly-extended Hokitika Gorge track.

    Image of Dame Patsy and Sir David are having dinner with Mayor of Westland District, Bruce Smith and wife Jenny, and Mayor of Grey District Tania Gibson and husband Stephen.
    Dinner that evening was a good opportunity to catch up with the Mayors of Westland District and  Grey District.

    Arahura Marae images

    DOC lunch images

    West Coast Treetop Walk images

    Hokitika Gorge images

     

  • Act of Remembrance for the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II

    An act of remembrance was on the 15th of August by the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, to mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The 15th of August historically marks VJ Day, the day Japan surrendered and fighting in Asia and the Pacific ended.

    Around 140 000 New Zealand men and women served in World War II, and 12 000 of them lost their lives while serving. The war remains the bloodiest in history, with an estimated 50 million casualties world-wide.  

    At the act of remembrance, Dame Patsy and Sir David were joined by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins, Chief of Defence Air Marshal Kevin Short, Minister of Defence Hon Ron Mark, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps HE Mr Leasi Papali'i Tommy Scanlan and Rear Admiral (Rtd) Jack Steer of the RSA. Due to Covid-19 alert level 2 restrictions, the event was not open to the public.

    Click here for Dame Patsy's speech.

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    Dame Patsy Reddy, Sir David Gascoigne, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Hon Ron Mark, Ari Marshal Kevin Short

  • Government House Tours on hold

    Tours of Government House have been suspended due to Level 2 restrictions.

    Heather and Owen look forward to seeing you when we return to Level 1.

    Government House Reflecting Pool

  • Investiture Ceremony Queenstown Wednesday 5 August 2020

    Congratulations to the six honours recipients who received their insignia at an investiture ceremony in Queenstown this afternoon.

    Today's recipients were acknowledged for their services to search and rescue, mountaineering, kea conservation, education, the Blind Foundation and the coommunity.


    Also making an appearance at today's ceremony, trainee guide dog Beau, who behaved impeccably throughout the afternoon.

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    Group shot QT

  • Investiture Christchurch Monday 3 August 2020

    Sporting excellence was one of the themes for today's investiture ceremony held in Christchurch.

    Former All Black coach Sir Steve Hansen was honoured for his efforts in coaching our international team and Roly Crichton was recognised for his efforts guiding the career of top Paralympian Sophie Pascoe. Top cyclist turned coach Hayden Roulston was also acknowledged.

    As well as rugby, coaching and cycling, the 14 New Zealanders who received their insignia today have made contributions to kayaking and outdoor education, local government and the community, seniors and the community, paralympic sport, migrant and refugee women and crafts, environmental rejuvenation,outdoor recreation and youth, seniors and the disabled, the community and tennis, the community, and music.

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    Image of Sir Steve Hansen, of Christchurch, KNZM, for services to rugby

    Image of Roly Crichton, of Christchurch, ONZM, for services to Paralympic sport

  • Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre

    Dame Patsy and Sir David received a warm welcome at the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre in Christchurch this morning. Her last visit was in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch shootings, a traumatic time for many who use the Centre. It was lovely to return and see how the Centre and its people are moving forward and supporting each other.

    Dame Patsy heard from a humber of speakers including Farid Ahmed, whose wife Husna was killed in last year's Christchurch terror attacks. Farid has written a book about his journey to forgiveness as a tribute to his wife and today  he gifted Dame Patsy a copy. All proceeds from "Husna's Story" go to St John Ambulance.

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    Image of Farid Ahmed gifts Dame Patsy a copy of his book

  • All-of-Government Dinner

    Last night Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted representatives from government agencies that are engaged in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Brook Barrington spoke about the extraordinary effort that has been required of public servants in working together at pace and collaboratively, and enacting new measures.

  • Afternoon tea at Government House

    Yesterday Dame Patsy hosted an afternoon tea for Eric Barlow, who has retired as a duty policeman at Government House Auckland after 28 and a half years of service. Also in attendance were Mark Leys, Murray Morrissey and Adrian Mowatt-Wilson, who were also recognised for their service as duty policemen.

    Image of Dame Patsy and GHA duty policemen

  • Commissioning Ceremony for the HMNZS Aotearoa

    Dame Patsy spoke at the Commissioning ceremony for the HMNZS Aotearoa at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland yesterday.

    Dame Patsy is Ship Sponsor and as such has a role in the life of the ship as long as it remains a part of the RNZN fleet.

    As well as speaking and inspecting the Guard of Honour, Dame Patsy also cut the cake, with the asistance of the ship's youngest sailor Able Marine Technician Samuel Marsh

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    Image of Dame Patsy inspecting the Guard of Honour

    Image of Dame Patsy cutting the cake with the youngest sailor Able Marine Technician Samuel Marsh

  • Investiture ceremony, Auckland, Tuesday 28 July

    The final investiture ceremony for this Auckland round saw six notable New Zealanders recognised for their contributions across a range of spheres.

    Congratulations to Dr Mike Matthews, of Hamilton, CNZM, for services to food technology and the food industry; Dr George Mason, of New Plymouth, ONZM, for services to conservation, philanthropy and the community; Gary Wilson, of Pukekohe, ONZM, for services to Māori and Pacific journalism and broadcasting; Dr David Codyre, of Auckland, MNZM, for services to mental health;Barb Cuthbert, of Auckland, QSM, for services to cycling and transport advocacy; Gillian Vaughan, of Papakura, QSM, for services to wildlife conservation

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    Image of Dr Mike Matthews, of Hamilton, CNZM, for services to food technology and the food industry

    Image of Gillian Vaughan, of Papakura, QSM, for services to wildlife conservation

     

  • Investiture Ceremony, Auckland 28 July AM 2020

    There was a real focus on positive work within communities at the penultimate investiture ceremony at Government House Auckland to celebrate New Year honours recipients. The recipients were Ms Suzanne Sinclair, ONZM, for services to the community and governance, Mr George Chan, MNZM, for services to philanthropy and the community, Mr Rod Brown, QSM, for services to conservation, Mr Terry Wade, QSM, for services to scouting, education and the community and Reverend Kalolo Fihaki, QSM, for services to the Tongan community.

    Reverend Kalolo Fihaki, Dame Patsy Reddy

  • Investiture Ceremony, Auckland 27 July 2020

    Today we recognised some of our netball coaching greats at Government House Auckland, with current Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua, DNZM, and former Silver Fern Margaret Forsyth, ONZM receiving their honours. Also invested was Dennis Marsh, MNZM, for services to music and fundraising, Professor Ineke Crezee, ONZM for services to interpreter and translator education, Susan Boland, MNZM for services to music and seniors and John Taylor, for services to the community, and Kim Robinson, MNZM, for services to the deaf community.

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    Dennis Marsh, Dame Patsy Reddy

     

  • Investiture for Professor Sir Bob Elliott

    Professor Sir Bob Elliott, of Auckland, KNZM for services to medical research

    Professor Sir Bob Elliott was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1999 for his services to medical research.

    Sir Bob has been Medical Director of Living Cell Technologies (LCT) since 1999, which develops cell-based products to treat life threatening human diseases. He pioneered the transplantation of insulin-producing pig cells into humans to treat type-1 diabetes and oversaw the development of a joint venture with a Japanese commercialization partner for further development of DIABECELL in the United States and Japan. Most recently LCT has focused on developing cell therapies to treat neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. He co-founded and is a director of NZeno, which applies gene editing technology to New Zealand pigs to produce safe pig kidneys that are compatible for human transplantation. In 2011 he received the World Class New Zealander (Life Sciences) award recognising his achievements as an entrepreneur in life sciences, as a medical educator, and in patient care. He co-founded the Child Health Research Foundation in 1971, now known as Cure Kids, the largest funder of child health research outside the Government. His method for testing for Cystic Fibrosis in infants has been internationally adopted. In the early 1990s Sir Bob began researching A2 beta-casein in milk and its implications for Type 1 diabetes and heart disease, which informed the establishment of the A2 Milk Corporation.

  • Morning Tea for the Good Deed Group

    This morning Dame Patsy and Sir David hosted members of the Good Deed Group, whose members are all immigrants from Iraq. They are proud Kiwis, dedicated to 'giving back to the community', and do so with initiatives to raise money for charities, ensure that children in low-decile schools have warm pyjamas, and provide food where it is needed, through the Eat My Lunch programme or at Ronald McDonald House.

    Dame Patsy was delighted to be presented with a depiction of the Hammurabi Code, an ancient Babylonian code of laws.

    Dame Patsy with members of the Good Deed Group
  • Investiture ceremony, Auckland 24 July 2020

    Radio and television icon Karyn Hay, ONZM was among the recipients during the investiture at Government House Auckland on the 24th of July. Hay was recognised for her contribution to broadcasting and the music industry. She is most known for her time hosting Radio with Pictures, where she became one of the first presenters on New Zealand television to speak with a distinctly Kiwi accent.

    Todays recipients were Ms Karyn Hay, ONZM, for services to broadcasting and the music industry; Mrs Sulieti Fieme’a Burrows, MNZM, for services to Tongan art and education; Mr Graeme North, MNZM, for services to architecture and natural building standards; Mr Don Scarlet, MNZM, for services to conservation; Reverend Eveni Lagaluga, QSM, for services to the Niuean community.

    Also recognised was Mrs Jenn Hooper, MNZM, for services to maternity care and people with disabilities.

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  • Investiture Ceremony, Auckland 23 July PM 2020

    Another great Kiwi Olympian was recognised this afternoon during the investiture ceremony at Government House Auckland, with Lauren Boyle recieving an MNZM for services to swimming. 

    She was recognised along with Mr Paul McGill, ONZM, for services to Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Mrs Linley Myers, MNZM, for services to education; Mr Lui Ponifasio, QSM, for services to the Pacific community and Mrs Ane Ponifasio, QSM, for services to the Pacific community.

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    Lui Ponifasio Ane Ponifasio Dame Patsy Reddy

  • Investiture Ceremony, Auckland 23 July AM 2020

    This morning's investiture ceremony in Auckland saw recipients recognised for their contributions victim advocacy, athletics, the deafblind community among others. 

    The recipients recognised were the late Dame Yvette Corlett, DNZM, for services to athletics; Ms Ruth Money, MNZM, for services to victim advocacy; Mrs Lucy Whittingham, MNZM, for services to the deafblind community; The Reverend Glenys Davis, QSM and Mr Panapa Davis, QSM, for services to the community; Mr Harjit Singh, QSM, for services to the Indian community and seniors.

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    Ruth Money and Dame Patsy Reddy

  • Investiture Ceremony, Auckland 22 July PM 2020

    This afternoon's investituture ceremony at Government House Auckland recognised achievements in the entertainment industry, scientific research and some true pillars of their community. 

    Today's recipients were Mr John Barnett, CNZM, for services to film and television; Dr Anne Bardsley, MNZM, for services to science and the State; Mrs Jennifer Khan-Janif, MNZM, for services to refugee and migrant communities; Mrs Jaylene Ball, QSM, for services to Māori and the community; Mrs Shirley Frew, QSM, for services to textile crafts and the community.

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    Shirley Frew Dame Patsy Reddy

  • Investiture Ceremony, Auckland 22 July AM 2020

    Congratulations to this morning's investiture recipients recognised for their achievements in their communities and across the country. This morning we recognised Tony Carter, CNZM, for services to business governance; Bob Narev, ONZM, for services to the community and education; Julia Durkin, MNZM, for services to photography; Dr Aroha Harris, MNZM, for services to Māori and historical research; Professor Ngaire Kerse, MNZM, for services to seniors and health; Leonie Tisch, QSM, for services to health and the community.

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    Tony Carter Dame Patsy Reddy

  • Investiture Ceremony, Auckland 21 July 2020

    Today's investiture ceremony in Auckland followed the format of the Wellington investitures, with five honour recipients enjoying high tea with their family and friends. Congratulations to Mr Rob Campbell, of Auckland, CNZM for services to governance and business; Mr Gerben Cath, of Auckland, MNZM for services to the screen industry and education; Ms Pauline Stansfield, of Auckland, MNZM for services to people with disabilities; Barbara Dixon, of Auckland, QSM for services to the community, and Reverend Les Dixon, of Auckland, QSM for services to the community.

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    Image Gallery

    Mr Rob Campbell, of Auckland, CNZM for services to governance and business
  • Investiture Wellington Thursday 9 July 2020

    International choreographer and dancer Parris Goebel was one of nine recipients who received their insignia at an investiture ceremony at Government House today.

    As well as dance, today's recipients were recognised for their services to philanthropy, palliative care, fostering children and social work, Maori and broadcasting, music and music education, amputees and  and horticulture, community and music and the community

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    Image of Parris Goebel

  • Investiture Ceremony 8 July 2020

    This afternoon's investiture ceremony acknowledged the contributions of mountaineer Shaun Norman (ONZM); community health advocate Naomi Cowan (MNZM); senior citizens advocate Geoff Pearman (MNZM); clay-shooter Ewen Pirie (MNZM); Samoan rugby stalwart Ieti Tiatia (MNZM); the late Rex Kirk (QSM for services to the community and sport); and conservationist Barbara Stuart (QSM).

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    Mr Shaun Norman, of Twizel, ONZM for services to mountaineering, alpine safety and the community
  • Investiture Ceremony 7 July 2020

    This afternoon's investiture ceremony recognised eminent educator Roger Moses (CNZM); pioneer intensive care specialist Dr Edward Ward (CNZM); early childhood educator Amanda McIntosh (ONZM); historian, philanthropist and promoter of children's literature Susan Price (ONZM); philanthropist Lyndy Sainsbury (ONZM); music educator and composer Gillian Bibby (MNZM); and sports journalist and commentator Terry O'Neill (QSM).

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    Mr Roger Moses, of Wellington, CNZM for services to education
  • Investiture Ceremony 6 July 2020

    This afternoon's investiture ceremony for nine recipients of New Year honours included Dame Anna Crighton, recognised for her committed advocacy for New Zealand arts, culture and heritage and Sue Kedgley, ONZM, whose career has included roles in the United Nations, national women's organisations, consumer advocacy, local government, and as a Member of Parliament.

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    Dame Anna Crighton, of Christchurch, DNZM for services to heritage preservation and governance
    Ms Sue Kedgley, of Wellington, ONZM for services to women and governance
  • Investiture ceremony 3 July 2020

    Contributions to dance and theatre, gymnastics, science and conservation, Fire and Emergency New Zealand and the New Zealand Defence Force were among the fields regognised at Friday's investiture ceremony for the New Year 2020 Royal Honours recipients.

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    Mrs Anne Flutey, QSM

  • Investiture ceremony 2 July 2020

    Contributions to endocrinology and the transgender community; aviation and conservation; health, particulalry nursing; language education and NZ-Germany relations; science education; the community; governance and hospitality and youth were recognised at an investiture ceremony for the New Year 2020 Royal Honours recipients.  

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    Mr Graeme William Gale, ONZM and Mrs Rosslyn Ann Gale, ONZM for services to aviation and conservation

  • Investiture Ceremony 1 July 2020

    Contributions to health, Māori art and culture, the Anglican Church, the Pacific community, biodynamic agriculture, seniors and ITC education were recognised at the first investiture ceremony for the New Year 2020 Royal Honours recipients.  

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    Professor Jennifer Barbara Carryer, CNZM

  • Credentials ceremony June 30

    With the current COVID-19 travel restrictions affecting many of our incoming High Commissioners and Ambassadors, some inventive thinking needed to happen to ensure they could still present their credentials while stationed overseas. The solution was to forgo the usual ceremony on the south lawn and hold them virtually on a zoom call. The exception was the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, HE Mr Sang-jin Lee, as he will reside in New Zealand during his term. 

    Presenting credentials virtually was High Commissioner of Rwanda HE Mr Jean de Dieu Uwihangye, Ambassador of Nepal HE Mr Mahesh Raj Dahal, Ambassador of Colombia HE Mr Alberto Jose Meija Ferrero and Ambassador of Kazakhstan HE Mr Arken Arystanov.

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    Rodney Harris Dame Patsy Reddy MFAT

  • Life Flight Trust Wellington

    Life Flight Trust has been a patron of New Zealand Governor’s-General since the time of Sir Paul Reeves. Dame Patsy and Sir David went to visit Life Flight’s base at Wellington Airport to hear about the work they do to help critically ill and injured people get to specialist care around the country. They also provide search and rescue support both on land and at sea.

    The Life Flight trust was created by Peter Button as a result of the sinking of the Wahine in 1968, as that tragedy highlighted to him the real need for emergency rescue helicopters. Today, they predominantly service the Wellington region and the top of the South Island with search and rescue helicopters, air ambulances and emergency patient transfers. On average they fly around 4 patients a day, and can be in the air as quick as 10 minutes after receiving a call.

    While visiting Life Flight, Dame Patsy was presented with a customary gift given to all Governor's-General since Sir Paul. As Government House is right next door to Wellington Hospital, which is a frequent stop for the Life Flight helicopter, they like to gift the residing Governor-General some ear muffs to help with the noise! 

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    Dame Patsy Reddy and Sir David Gascoigne with the Life Flight Helicopter crew

  • Visit to Flight Plastics

    Yesterday Dame Patsy visited Flight Plastics in Wellington to see how clear plastic, collected from around New Zealand, is cleaned, broken down, turned into sheeting and then made into packaging for food products. It is an example of the circular economy in action, as used food trays can in turn be returned to the plant to be recycled repeatedly.

    Flight Plastics Director, Derek Lander showing Dame Patsy a tray made of recycled plastic
    Dame Patsy with Patrick O'Donoghue, Sarah Baylis, and Derek Lander
  • Bill Gosden Investiture

    Bill Gosden was recognised for his contribution to the film industry at a small investiture ceremony at Government House in Wellington this afternoon.
    Until his retirement last year, Bill was the director of the New Zealand International Film Festival, bringing the best and most distinctive of New Zealand and international film making to audiences throughout the country and providing a vital platform for new film makers and diverse local communities.
    Bill received the insignia of an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)

    The citation: 

    TO RECEIVE THE INSIGNIA OF AN OFFICER OF THE NEW ZEALAND ORDER OF MERIT

    Mr Bill Gosden, for services to the film industry

    Bill Gosden created and developed the New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) from 1979 until his retirement in 2019, bringing the latest and most distinctive of New Zealand and international filmmaking to audiences throughout the country every winter.

    Over the years Mr Gosden brought together film festivals that had previously competed to create the amalgamated NZIFF. In the year of his retirement NZIFF played in 14 centres from Auckland to Gore to a total audience of more than 264,000. He has been a champion for New Zealand filmmakers, making NZIFF the initial screening venue for many of our most significant filmmakers, and a vital platform for emergent voices and the representation of diverse local communities. He has also served as a Governor of the New Zealand Arts Foundation since 2011 and has been involved in selecting the Foundation's Icon Awards. Mr Gosden was previously appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2001 for his services to the film industry.

    Mage of Bill Gosden, Dame Patsy and Sir David

     

  • Fenwick Forum

    This morning Dame Patsy opened the Fenwick Forum, an event organised by The Aotearoa Circle focussing on ensuring COVID-19 economic recovery opportunities benefit natural capital.

    Joining Dame Patsy at the Fenwick Forum was Izzy Fenwick, daughter of the late Sir Rob Fenwick, co-founder of The Aotearoa Circle. Izzy’s moving speech paid tribute to her father’s legacy and emphasised the importance of acting now to ensure a liveable world for future generations.


    While Dame Patsy and Izzy were speaking in Auckland, the participants and panellists were attending via Zoom, walking the walk and keeping their carbon emissions down.

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