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Wednesday November 8, 2017

Governor-General to receive honorary doctorate

New Zealand’s 52nd Parliament to commence this week

The Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy, will receive an honorary doctorate at a Victoria University of Wellington graduation ceremony in December. The honorary degree of Doctor of Laws is an acknowledgement of her leadership as Governor-General as well as her previous career in law and business. Victoria University Chancellor Sir Neville Jordan says Dame Patsy has been an inspiration for women aspiring to leadership in the public and private sectors, and she continues to do so as the Queen’s representative in New Zealand. “Prior to her appointment as New Zealand’s twenty-first Governor-General, Dame Patsy established herself as a prominent lawyer, businesswoman and strong advocate for the arts and gender equality,” he says. “Victoria is proud to celebrate its connection with Dame Patsy and her outstanding achievements in leadership, law, business and the arts.” Dame Patsy graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University in 1976 and was subsequently awarded a Master of Laws in 1979. She lectured at Victoria’s law faculty before joining the law firm Watts and Patterson (now Minter Ellison Rudd Watts) in 1982. She enjoyed a rapid rise through the firm’s ranks, becoming the first female partner in 1983, before joining Brierley Investments as Group Legal Counsel in 1987. During her time at Brierley Investments, she was involved in numerous

New Zealand’s 52nd Parliament commenced with two ceremonies this week – a commission opening on November 7 and the state opening on November 8. Members of the public were invited to follow the events on Radio New Zealand, Parliament TV or watch the on a big screen in the grounds of Parliament. The opening of Parliament marked the start of the new three-year Parliamentary term for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who at 37 is New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister since 1856. The state opening is one of the few times that the Crown and the House of Representatives come together as Parliament in a ceremonial display. The ceremonies were attended by dignitaries, members of Parliament and their families. The commission opening of Parliament was when Parliament is formally opened by three commissioners representing the Governor-General. Each member of Parliament is sworn in by taking an oath or making an affirmation in English or te reo Maori. The Speaker of the House, who takes third place in the New Zealand order of precedence after the Governor-General and the Prime Minister, is also elected. The state opening of Parliament is when the Governor-General gives the speech from the throne which outlines the Government’s legislative policy and plans. The response is the address in reply debate, when most new members of Parliament give their maiden speeches. It is a 19-hour debate, which sometimes takes several weeks.

Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy, pictured in the centre. PHOTO: Supplied

mergers and acquisitions, including the privatisation and subsequent flotation of Air New Zealand, and the construction, establishment and flotation of Sky City Entertainment Ltd. With her extensive background in law and business, Dame Patsy became highly sought after for governance and consulting roles in the public and private sectors. She has served on the boards of Air New Zealand, Sky City Entertainment, Southern Petroleum, Telecom, New

Zealand Post, Payments NZ and the New Zealand Transport Agency. She acted as Chief Crown Negotiator of Treaty Settlements for Tauranga Moana and Te Toko Toru, and she was able to combine her business expertise with her interest in film as Chair of the New Zealand Film Commission. She was a founding trustee and advisory board member for New Zealand Global Women and has chaired the Board of the New Zealand Film Archive.


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