‘Ah, there you are’: Queen holds Zoom call with the new Governor-General of New Zealand

Dame Cindy Kiro becomes the first Maori woman to be appointed to the role

Kate Ng
Tuesday 19 October 2021 17:07
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Queen holds Zoom call with governor-general of New Zealand
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The Queen has held a virtual audience with the new Governor-General of New Zealand to welcome her to the role.

Dame Cindy Kiro is the first indigenous woman appointed to the role and was greeted by Her Majesty over Zoom on Monday.

The monarch gave a little exclamation of surprise and raised her finger when Dame Cindy appeared on the screen, and said: “Ah, there you are!”.

She then said “Good evening”, to which Dame Cindy replied “Good morning”. The latter was speaking from Government House in Wellington.

The Queen said: “Oh of course, it’s good morning, isn’t it, to you?”

Handout video still issued by Buckingham Palace of Governor General Designate of New Zealand, Dame Cindy Kiro during a video link Audience with Queen Elizabeth II

She added that the Governor-General designate’s swearing-in ceremony on Thursday would be a “big day”.

Dame Cindy said: “It will be a big day. Something that you’ve gone through many times, with many Governor-Generals.”

Her Majesty responded by chuckling and said: “Indeed I have, yes.”

The Queen is the UK’s longest-reigning monarch and is also New Zealand’s Head of State, as the country is a constitutional monarchy and falls under the commonwealth. Her formal title is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

According to the royal family website, the Queen is known as Kotuku in the Maori language, which means “the white heron”.

During the virtual audience, the Queen invested Dame Cindy with 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.

Dame Cindy became the first woman, and Maori, to be appointed as children’s commissioner in 2003. She went on to be appointed as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to child wellbeing and education in the New Year Honours 2021.

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