Reflecting back on his time as High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom, Sir Jerry Mateparae has some various highlights.
"One of them was in the wake of the March 15 terrorist attack in Christchurch and the way the New Zealand community and British community came together.
"We were approached by a young Muslim British woman who said she wanted to hold a vigil outside New Zealand House [in London]. We explained that there wasn't a lot of room, and it was a main thoroughfare, but how about we do it at the New Zealand memorial.
"She said yes and we arranged for it to happen at the memorial. There were probably about 1000 people who came out to it.
"And a week later the New Zealand community organised the vigil in Trafalgar Square. We had tens of thousands of British people and New Zealanders in Trafalgar Square. It was probably the first time that an imam has called for prayer in Trafalgar Square."
Another highlight was an Oceania exhibition which featured arts and crafts from across the Pacific as well as commemorating Captain Cook's first voyage out into the Pacific.
"Just to see the items that were shared both from New Zealand and also across Europe was amazing. It was a lovely exhibition and very well supported."
And when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, pregnant with Neve, attended a Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting. "That was special because it was so much about New Zealand."
Sir Jerry was guest speaker, alongside interviewer Corran Crispe, at a function in support of the Nikau Foundation at the Kāpiti Boating Club on Tuesday.
Sir Jerry, 66, who lives in Kāpiti, grew up in Whanganui and had aspirations to be an accountant when he left school.
But one day, by chance, he passed an army office and his interest in the armed forces was piqued, especially the boundaries, travel and camaraderie that would entail.
After failing an army officer pre-selection course, he successfully reapplied, and in the early 1970s started his long-term career in the military.
Always looking for the next opportunity, he slowly worked his way up the ranks, eventually becoming Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force.
In 2011 he was appointed governor-general for five years before becoming the High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom for three years.
Casting his mind back to his younger years, Sir Jerry said his parents were supportive and always encouraged him to pursue his endeavours.
Fast-forward to the present day and Sir Jerry was concerned "young people are seemingly pessimistic about what the world might be".
"I can fully understand where their concerns come from."
But by adopting a 'what can we do' frame of mind, which many young people were doing, there would be hope.
"I think young people are much more community-minded than I was at the same age.
"The goals they have are a lot more around community and concern for the planet.
"Young people will always step up. The next generation will do better than okay.
"I have a lot of faith in young people."
Moreover, "One of the things I have learnt is that across the globe there are New Zealanders doing amazing things …"