Governor General's year in review

Last updated 06:00 01/01/2013
stl sept24 governor general
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
IN REVIEW: Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae said 2012 was a year which brought both glory and tragedy.

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Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae has welcomed 2013, reflecting on last year's glories and tragedies. 

In his second New Year message, he looked back on the celebration of the Queen's 60 years on the throne, and Prince Charles visiting New Zealand.

"The diamond jubilee year was an opportunity to reflect on Her Majesty's service to us," he said.

"Later in the year, we hosted the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who were warmly welcomed by thousands of New Zealanders."

Weeks after the royal events, the country halted for a poignant moment at 12:51pm to mark the Christchurch earthquake, he said.

"It was a time to honour the lives of those we have lost, and to look to the rebuilding of Christchurch, which has now begun in earnest," he said. 

"It was also a year when we considered how we would respond to such events in the future."

This year is also the centenary of the last year of peace before World War One, continuing the theme of reflection on tragedy.

"From 2014 onwards, we will mark a series of centenaries from the first world war, including the fateful landings at Gallipoli on the 25 April 1915," said Mateparae.

"Memorials remind us of the tragic losses New Zealand has suffered, including in Afghanistan in the last year."

He said a bronze sculpture in the National War Memorial in Wellington, of a woman comforting her children, is a reminder of the position women have in New Zealand.

"This year marks 120 years of women's suffrage," he said.

"Since that time, women have made an ever-widening contribution to our society in fields of government, business, the law, the arts, science, medicine, and sport."

He said it is important to consider the contribution of women as the new year begins and resolutions are made.

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