Rau rangatira mā, e kui mā, e koro mā, e huihui nei,
tēnei aku mihi māhana ki a koutou.
Nau mai, haere mai ra ki Te Whare Kawana o Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
Members of the Diplomatic Corps, distinguished guests, warm greetings to you all, and welcome to Government House Wellington.
I am delighted that Government House is the venue for this D5 Summit event, and I extend a special welcome to our panellists, Lisa Reihana and Siouxsie Wiles.
Thank you both for taking this time to share your insights on diversity in the digital world.
As just the third woman to occupy the role of Governor-General in New Zealand, it is perhaps not surprising that the promotion and celebration of diversity is a focus of my programme.
Diversity is increasingly recognised as an essential part of our culture. It causes us to think about how all our citizens can develop their potential, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age and socioeconomic background.
An inclusive society is one where all our citizens can feel engaged and participate.
So I am interested to hear how access to digital technology can be extended to all New Zealanders, and how it can make our communities more inclusive.
New Zealand has historically been something of a social incubator, pioneering in areas such as women’s suffrage and social welfare policies.
Because of our small size, we have at times been able to adapt to change more rapidly than some bigger nations – and digital transformation is no exception.
I was pleased to note the early achievement of the goal of 70 percent of the most common government interactions being completed digitally. And I applaud the Government’s new goal - to have 80 percent of these transactions completed digitally by 2021.
As you all know, digital innovation in government is not without its challenges. I recognise the complexity of the task of developing programmes that New Zealanders can trust and embrace. They need to balance ease of access and data sharing with individual rights to privacy. I suggest that they also need to embrace and promote diversity.
I hope that the discussion today will inform some of that work, and also be of interest to other nations in the D5 group that are tackling similar issues.
Colin, many thanks for being our facilitator – I will now invite you to steer us through the programme.