Social Issues

Indigenous woman named New Zealand governor general for the first time

Sydney, Australia , May 24 (EFE).- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday announced that Cindy Kiro, the former children’s commissioner, will be the next governor general of the country, making her the first Maori woman to be nominated for the post.

“I am delighted Dame Cindy has accepted the role. 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,” Ardern said in a statement.

Kiro, who will replace Patsy Reddy in October, will hold the largely ceremonial post of the governor general of New Zealand – the formal head of state Queen Elizabeth’s representative in the country – for the next five years.

The former pro-vice chancellor (Maori) of the University of Auckland, Kiro is currently the chief executive of the Royal Society Te Aparangi, which promotes research and academic activity in science, technology, humanities as well as carrying out other community-based and voluntary work.

After winning her second term in office in November, Ardern had appointed five Maori ministers and five more from the LGBT+ community to promote diversity in her cabinet.

Nanaia Mahuta, a social anthropologist who sports a traditional Maori tattoo on her chin, was appointed as the first-ever indigenous foreign minister, and chose to take her oath in her native language.

Her colleague Grant Robertson became the first openly gay deputy prime minister of the country and also holds the finance portfolio since 2017.

Out of the 20 members of Ardern’s cabinet, which is a global benchmark for progressive groups, around 40 percent are women, while 25 percent represent the indigenous Maori community, 15 percent come from Pacific islands and an equal percentage belongs to the LGBT+ community. EFE


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