New Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro sworn-in

Dame Cindy Kiro will become the first wāhine Māori Governor-General at her swearing-in today.

Kiro will be sworn in at Parliament from 10am and both Kiro and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will give a short address.

However, alert level 2 restrictions mean it will be a slimmed-down ceremony.

There will be no pōwhiri, or the usual royal salute, artillery salute, and inspection of the guard, or a reception afterwards.

Earlier in the week, the royal family released a video clip of a zoom call between Kiro and the Queen on Twitter.

The call was to allow the Queen to invest Kiro with the traditional insignia of a Governor-General: the Insignia of a Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and of a Companion of The Queen’s Service Order of New Zealand.

Kiro takes over the role from Dame Patsy Reddy, who had finished her five-year term.

Kiro is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine and Ngāti Kahu descent while her father is British.

When Kiro was first announced as the next Governor-General in May, she reflected on her life’s path from a poor family in Auckland to the top.

“I really hope it is seen as a positive thing, you can reach the very top, and remember not only Māori and a woman, but pōhara, very poor, from a humble background.

“It truly is incredible standing here with this opportunity, and I hope young Māori girls, no matter where they come from in life, and all girls, take some inspiration from that.”

Kiro has spent much of her career in the tertiary sector, holding a PhD in social policy and an MBA (Exec) in business administration.

She has held various professorships at multiple New Zealand universities, and most recently was pro vice-chancellor Māori at the University of Auckland before taking up her current role as chief executive at the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

She has also advised multiple governments and various ministries.

She served as Children’s Commissioner from 2003 to 2009, from 2014 to 2018 she was a member of the Ministerial Cross-Sector Forum for the Ministry of Education, and from 2018 to 2019 she chaired the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

She was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to child wellbeing and education in the 2021 New Year Honours.

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