New Governor-General has ties to region

By Staff Reporter editorial@age.co.nz -
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Dame Patsy Reddy has a home in South Wairarapa. PHOTO/FILE
Dame Patsy Reddy has a home in South Wairarapa. PHOTO/FILE

New Zealand's new Governor-General joins the ranks of distinguished Wairarapa homeowners.

Dame Patsy Reddy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne are Wellington-based but have a home in South Wairarapa.

They are neighbours of film director James Cameron.

Dame Patsy, 63, was born in Matamata, and brought up in Te Akau and then Minginui, where her parents, Neil and Kay Reddy, were school teachers.

A keen art lover and supporter of the arts -- particularly film, visual arts and opera -- according to a biography released upon her confirmation yesterday, she is also keen on gardening, cooking, and her miniature poodle, Coco.

She was made a dame in 2014.

Dame Patsy is chairwoman of the New Zealand Film Commission, deputy chairwoman of New Zealand Transport Agency, and has also been a chief negotiator for Treaty of Waitangi settlements for Tauranga Moana and Te Toko Toru.

She has served on various boards, including the New Zealand Opera and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Foundation.

Dame Patsy also acts as a trustee, including of the New Zealand International Arts Festival, the Wellington Jazz Festival and the Sky City Community Trust.

She was a founding trustee for the New Zealand Global Women Trust.

When she was made a dame in 2014, Dame Patsy told media she saw the honour as recognition of the difficulties faced by women in establishing business careers, and taking on leadership roles.

"The challenges may have changed over time but there remain some significant obstacles," Dame Patsy said at the time.

"I do think that there is greater awareness of the importance of gender equality today, though this has yet to be realised in many areas -- particularly in business leadership."

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