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Dame Cindy Kiro to be sworn in as New Zealand’s 22nd Governor-General

20 October 2021

Dame Alcyion Cynthia (Cindy) Kiro will be sworn in as New Zealand’s first wahine Māori Governor-General in a ceremony at Parliament House in Wellington tomorrow, 21 October.

The ceremony is the most significant State event since the opening of Parliament last November.

Dame Cindy will take the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office, administered by the Chief Justice of New Zealand, Rt Hon Helen Winkelmann. The Commission of Appointment will be read in both English and te reo Māori. A Proclamation will then be read declaring that Dame Cindy has assumed the office of Governor-General. Both Dame Cindy and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will deliver an address.

Dame Cindy becomes Governor-General after a highly distinguished career in academic and leadership positions across a number of fields and organisations.

She was most recently Chief Executive of the Royal Society - Te Apārangi, which advances research and scholarly activity in science, technology and the humanities, and raises public understanding of those fields.

Dame Cindy was previously the Children’s Commissioner, had leadership roles at several New Zealand universities, including Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori at the University of Auckland, extensive health sector experience, and a number of roles in community and voluntary organisations.

Dame Cindy was born in Whangārei, Northland, in 1958, the eldest of six children. She is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu and British descent. She has a level of fluency in te reo Māori.

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

At COVID Alert Level 2, some elements of the traditional swearing-in ceremony cannot take place. These include a pōwhiri, military honours, and a formal reception. Dame Cindy’s whānau resident in Auckland are regrettably unable to attend.

Dame Alcyion Cynthia (Cindy) Kiro

Points of interest about the 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.

Live stream:
The ceremony will be live streamed on