The Governor-General says she looks forward to when every New Zealander can have an "informed conversation" about the Treaty of Waitangi and see it as a "source of pride and possibility".
Dame Patsy Reddy made the remarks this morning in her fifth and likely final appearance at Waitangi in her role, an opportunity she said had always been an "important honour".
Reddy was formally welcomed at a pōwhiri on the treaty grounds, escorted by her kuia Hiria Hape and kaumatua Joe Harawira, and flanked by kuia Titewhai Harawira, as she was met with the traditional challenge by Tai Tokerau warriors.
After formal speeches Reddy, who was appointed to a five-year term as Governor-General in 2016, spoke from the mahua (porch) of the whare rūnanga, reflecting on how far the country had come, but also how much more work had to be done.
Over her tenure attending Waitangi as representative of the Crown Treaty partner, she'd heard Māori express social concerns, environmental issues and the impacts of climate change, and ongoing Treaty grievances, the largest of which - Ngāpuhi - remains unresolved.
"I can't solve them all, but I can listen. We all have to do more to uphold the expectations of our forbears when they signed Te Tiriti."
She quoted the late Ngāti Hine kaumatua Tā James Henare, imploring the country to look forward.
"Maha rawa wa tatou mahinga te kore mahi tonu, tawhiti rawa to tatou haerenga te kore haere tonu / You have come too far not to go further; you have done too much, not to do more."
Reddy also made clear her views on the recent announcement to teach Aotearoa/New Zealand history in school, covering everything from the first arrivals to the New Zealand Wars and impacts colonisation.
"I am thrilled all children will soon be learning the history of Aotearoa as part of the curriculum, so when they visit Waitangi they will know what and why they are visiting. It will be so much more profound.
"I look forward to the time when every citizen is able to have an informed conversation about Te Tiriti relationship, see it as a source of pride and possibility."
Speaking to reporters after her speech Reddy was asked if she thought New Zealand was ready for a conversation about the future role of the monarch in Aotearoa and how that could affect the Treaty relationship.
"I think we are having that now," she said.
Reddy said she was "very happy" with the current situation, but if there was a shift to a republic at some point it was important one of the Treaty partners remained the head of state.
"I think we have a good balance in the constitution at the moment.
"Whether we become a republic or stay as a constitutional monarchy, it is important we continue that connection with our history."
Reddy also said Māori wards were an "great idea", as well as Matariki as a public holiday.