Dame Cynthia (Cindy) Kiro will be New Zealand’s next Governor-General, taking over from Dame Patsy Reddy in October this year. Kiro will be the first Māori woman to hold the role.
Kiro has an already exceptional list of achievements. She was the first Māori woman to be the University of Auckland’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Māori, and has held a number of positions in academia throughout her career. She is a UoA alumnus, having gained an Executive Master of Business Administration in 1992, and holds multiple other qualifications, such as a PhD from Massey University. She is of Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Hine descent.
Kiro also served as the Children’s Commissioner between 2003 and 2008, overseeing major initiatives such as the Taskforce for Action on Family Violence. Her work to address child wellbeing earned her an appointment to a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2021 New Year Honours.
The University reports that Kiro was a major influence on the creation of the Te Reo Language Revitalisation plan, and was heavily involved with a memorandum of understanding with local iwi and UoA’s Vision 2030 and Strategic Plan 2025—Taumata Teitei.
The University, as well as a number of public figures, politicians and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have congratulated Kiro on her appointment as the new Governor-General.
“I am delighted Dame Cindy has accepted the role,” says Ardern. “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.”