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Celebrating diversity, culture and the achievements of women

Governor-General’s swearing-in ceremony: Celebrating diversity, culture and the achievements of women

by Liana Pantaleo

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament.

For the first time, the flags of Niue, Tokelau and Cook Islands were raised along-side the New Zealand flag, giving recognition to these nations as members of the Realm.

The Governor-General took the Royal Salute and inspected the guard, followed by a 21-gun salute from Pt Jerningham.

Prime Minister John Key made special mention of the achievements of women and people of diverse backgrounds in high-ranking roles in New Zealand. Mr. Key praised Dame Patsy Reddy’s achievements and warmly welcomed her to this new role.

Dame Patsy thanked the Prime Minister and accepted the challenge ahead of her. She went on to state her intent to “respect and honour the unique partnership between the Crown and Māori.” The new Governor General expressed her gratitude towards her “family, friends and colleagues” and especially her husband, David, whom she feels “fortunate to have … as [her] support, confidant and adviser.”

The official party ascended the red-carpeted steps to enter the banquet hall.

Other features of the ceremony included the band of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the New Zealand Opera Chorus, and the Tri-Service Royal Guard of Honour drawn from the Royal New Zealand Navy, New Zealand Army and Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy’s full speech can be read here.

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