The Governor-General of New Zealand, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, and Lady Janine Mateparae, undertook a four-day visit to South Canterbury and North Otago in February 2013. Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine were warmly welcomed to the region and enjoyed engaging with New Zealanders from all walks of life at a variety of events.
Wednesday 20 February
The first day of the visit included a welcome on to Arowhenua Marae near Temuka. You can listen to the Governor-General's brief remarks in Te Reo here:
Later in the afternoon, the Governor-General visited South Pacific Sera (SPS), an innovative and enterprising company specialising in the supply and export of bioscience products including raw materials for pharmaceuticals used in children’s vaccines and enzyme replacement therapy.
Here Sir Jerry Mateparae launched the SPS Woodhouse Scholars Programme, aimed at encouraging and supporting local South Canterbury youth studying bioscience at a South Island university. The Governor-General's speech is available here.
Thursday 21 February
Sir Jerry Mateparae began the day by joining the cyclists up at 6am participating in the Central South Island Charity Bike Ride - a community fundraiser for local charities.
Lady Janine Mateparae hosted a morning tea at the Timaru Council Chambers which celebrated the contributions of women to the Timaru and wider New Zealand community. In the afternoon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Lady Janine opened the Bill O'Donnell Sawmill at the Bushtown Heritage Site in Waimate.
Friday 22 February
The Governor-General visited Waitaki Boys' High School where he was treated to a full school haka before meeting with student leaders from local schools in the region to talk about leadership.In the afternoon, as Patron of the Royal Agricultural Society of New Zealand, Sir Jerry Mateparae officially opened the 150th North Otago A & P Show and met some of those attending the two-day event.
Later, The Governor-General was briefed on the work of the North Otago Irrigation Company (NOIC). The irrigation scheme introduced by NOIC in October 2006, delivers Waitaki River water to over 100 shareholders and over 10,000 hectares of productive farmland through a series of pump stations, canals, pipes and a natural waterway.
Saturday 23 February
To end the four-day visit, The Governor-General attended the 2013 New Zealand Rowing Championships at Lake Ruataniwha in Twizel. The day was full of excitement as New Zealand's top rowers gathered to compete and achieve their goals. Sir Jerry Mateparae enjoyed watching a few races from the Sky Sport Barge, and also presented placegetters with medals and trophies.