Dame Cindy Kiro sworn in as Governor-General of New Zealand

Dame Cindy Kiro has been sworn in as the new Governor-General of New Zealand in a ceremony at Parliament this morning.

After placing her hand on the Bible as requested by chief justice Helen Winkelmann, Dame Cindy recited the oaths of office in both English and Māori.

She is the first wāhine Māori to hold the position, and is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu and British descent.

Dame Cindy was born in Whangārei in 1958 and is the eldest of six children.

She was most recently the chief executive of the Royal Society - Te Apārangi, has been a Children's Commissioner and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Māori at the University of Auckland.

Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann will administer the oaths, and both Dame Cindy and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will deliver speeches.

Dame Cindy succeeds Dame Patsy Reddy whose five-year term ended last month.

Role of Governor-General:

The Governor-General is the Sovereign's representative in New Zealand. They carry out a number of formal duties, including dissolving and opening Parliament, and giving royal assent to passed bills so they become law.

  • Constitutional - the Governor-General dissolves Parliament before a general election is held, appoints the government after an election, assents to legislation, and gives the Speech from the Throne at the State Opening of Parliament
  • Ceremonial - the Governor-General represents the Queen and all New Zealanders at important public ceremonies, including Waitangi Day and Anzac Day commemorations
  • Community leadership - the Governor-General is a patron of many charitable, service, sporting, cultural and community organisations.