Hollywood big guns among crowd at swearing in of new Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy
Dame Patsy Reddy has been officially sworn in as New Zealand's 21st governor-general at a ceremony in Wellington.
Hundreds of people, including film-makers Sir Peter Jackson and Reddy's former neighbour James Cameron, were at Parliament's grounds on Wednesday morning.
Reddy, who succeeds Sir Jerry Mateparae, accepted the Rakau Tapu ceremonial challenge and was welcomed to the ceremony.
She and husband Sir David Gascoigne then met with mana whenua for hongi, several short haka and met Prime Minister John Key.
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Pomp and ceremony continued as she moved to the saluting base, receiving a general salute from the Royal Guard of Honour and was then sworn in.
The formalities continued with Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias administering the affirmation of allegiance and affirmation of office.
Later, Reddy, 62, inspected the Royal Guard in front of Parliament.
Key then addressed the ceremony. He said governors-general in recent years had better reflected New Zealand's diversity.
The first New Zealand-born governor-general was not sworn in until in 1967.
Reddy said she was happy to have been approached about the job. "I want to encourage greater diversity in our leadership," she said.
"When the prime minister first asked me if I would consider being New Zealand's 21st governor-general, he pointed out that the role would provide me with a unique opportunity to make a worthwhile and lasting contribution to New Zealand and the lives of New Zealanders.
"That was a challenge that I could not easily ignore."
The national anthem was played, while the air force band also played Pokarekare Ana, understood to be Reddy's choice, and the New Zealand Opera Chorus sang Hine e Hine.
In her new role, Reddy is commander-in-chief of New Zealand's armed forces and the Queen's representative in the Realm of New Zealand, which includes Niue, Tokelau, the Cook Islands and the Ross Dependency in Antarctica.
Reddy thanked her husband, whom she called her "confidant and adviser".
The new governor-general also thanked other family members, friends, and previous governors.
She made special mention of immediate predecessor Mateparae, and Dames Cath Tizard and Silvia Cartwright, New Zealand's first and second female governors-general.
She approached her role with "some trepidation, but also enthusiasm", she said, after spending about six months preparing for it.
Cameron told NZME that Reddy was an "astonishingly talented and competent woman".
"We got to be quite chummy ... She has got a big vision of what she can do as governor-general.
"She has done a good job with everything she has ever done, and she has done an awful lot of things."
The governor-general later went to Pukeahu, the national war memorial, where Chief of Defence Force Lt-Gen Tim Keating and BJ Clark, RSA national president, were among those who met her and Gascoigne.
The group then went inside the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior for a wreathlaying.
After chit-chat outside the tomb the group left and Reddy headed to her new home, Government House Wellington, just south of the Basin Reserve.
WHO IS PATSY REDDY?
* Born in Matamata, she was brought up in Te Akau in western Waikato, then Minginui, near the Urewera Ranges. Her parents, Neil and Kay Reddy were school teachers. She went to Hamilton Girls High School.
* John Key said she was thoughtful and articulate' with a "brilliant legal mind."
* Married to former judicial conduct commissioner Sir David Gascoigne. The couple divide their time between Wellington and Wairarapa.
* She'll get $348,000 a year, according to the Remuneration Authority's 2015 salary determination.
* The job comes with free accommodation at Wellington and Auckland's Government Houses.
* Her interests include film, visual arts, opera, gardening, cooking and her miniature poodle, Coco.
* In 1982 she joined law firm Watts and Patterson (now Minter Ellison Rudd Watts), and was the first female partner in 1983, specialising in tax, corporate and film law.
* In 1987 she joined Brierley Investments as group legal counsel, later becoming group manager for special projects.
* In 11 years at Brierley she was involved in mergers and acquisitions, including the privatisation and subsequent flotation of Air New Zealand, and the construction, establishment and flotation of Sky City Entertainment Ltd.