Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy visits Nelson's Whakatu Marae
New Zealand's newest Governor General has made her first official appearance in Nelson.
Three days after being sworn in as 21st person to hold the role, Dame Patsy Reddy was welcomed on to Whakatu Marae with a forceful powhiri.
Dame Reddy joked about her late arrival from Nelson Airport, saying that "even the Governor General can't control the airlines".
She then thanked everyone for her warm reception and expressed a sincere desire to uphold the Treaty of Waitangi.
READ MORE: Who is Dame Patsy Reddy?
"I'm looking forward to developing an even warmer relationship with the iwi of this region over the next five years."
Reddy said she hoped to "live up to expectations" and planned to travel the country to learn the successes and challenges of all its regions.
"Today is the first step outside Wellington on that journey."
She paid homage to Nelson as a region which had "a lot to celebrate" but continued to look forward.
Nelson mayor Rachel Reese likened herself, as the city's first woman mayor, to Reddy, the third female Governor General after Dames Catherine Tizard and Sylvia Cartwright.
"I celebrate diversity in leadership and and the challenge of serving."
Dame Reddy was presented with an ornamental toki potangata (adze of authority) made by master carver Frank Wells.
She also officially reopened Nelson's Suter Art Gallery after its two-year closure and $12 million refurbishment.
Suter Gallery director Julie Catchpole said the public opening on Sunday would be celebrated with live performances and three exhibition themes in the gallery: Promised Land, Land of Milk and Honey and Exodus.