National | Governor General

Dame Cindy Kiro first Māori wahine appointed as Governor-General

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has named Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy's successor: Dame Cindy Kiro.

The appointment for a five-year term has been approved by the Queen and Kiro will take up the role on October 21, becoming the first Māori woman to be appointed. Reddy will end her role on September 28.

“I am delighted Dame Cindy has accepted the role. She has a highly distinguished and lengthy career in academic and leadership positions and has made significant contributions across a number of fields and organisations,” Ardern said.

“We are privileged to have someone of Dame Cindy’s mana and standing for the role and I am very grateful that she agreed to become our next Governor-General.”

Dame Alcyion Cynthia (Cindy) Kiro was born in Whangārei, Northland, in 1958, the eldest of six children. She is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Kahu and British descent. She also has connections to Te Arawa in the Rotorua region.

Kiro holds a PhD in social policy and an MBA  from the University of Auckland and Massey University and was the first in her family to achieve a university qualification.

She was knighted as a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM) for services to child wellbeing and education on the New Year 2021 Honours List.

'Haere rā'

In a statement, the University of Auckland bid farewell to Dame Cindy.

"Dame Cindy leaves the role of Ihonuku (Pro Vice-Chancellor) Māori to become Chief Executive of Te Apārangi (Royal Society of New Zealand).

"As the Ihonuku at the University of Auckland she drove the implementation of the Te Reo Revitalisation Plan, Te Kūaha App and Kuputaka through a five-year plan to increase staff use of te reo.

"She has also developed an Iwi Māori relationships strategy, consulting particularly with iwi across Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau.

"Her involvement in the University’s Strategic Plan 2025 and executive recruitment is her last call of duty before she departs her role."