Cindy Kiro

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Dame Cindy Kiro
Cindy Kiro official portrait October 2021 (cropped).jpg
Official portrait, 2021
22nd Governor-General of New Zealand
Assumed office
21 October 2021
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded byDame Patsy Reddy
Children's Commissioner
In office
1 September 2003 – 1 September 2008
Appointed bySteve Maharey
Preceded byRoger McClay
Succeeded byJohn Angus
Personal details
Alcyion Cynthia Simpson

1958 (age 63–64)[1]
Whangārei, New Zealand
Spouse(s)Chris Kuchel
Richard Davies
Children2 children, 2 stepchildren
Residence(s)Government House, Wellington
Alma materUniversity of Auckland
Massey University
European University Institute
Scientific career
FieldsPublic health
ThesisKimihia Hauora Māori = Māori Health Policy and Practice (2001)
Academic advisorsMichael Belgrave
Chris Cunningham

Dame Alcyion Cynthia Kiro GNZM QSO DStJ (/kɪəˈr/) (née Simpson; born 1958) is a New Zealand public health academic, administrator, and advocate, who has served as the 22nd governor-general of New Zealand since 21 October 2021. Kiro is the first Māori woman, the third person of Māori descent, and the fourth woman to hold the office.

Before she was announced as governor-general designate, Kiro was Ahorangi chief executive of the Royal Society Te Apārangi and was previously the Children's Commissioner, head of school of the School of Public Health at Massey University, head of Te Kura Māori at Victoria University of Wellington and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Māori) of the University of Auckland.

Early life and education

Kiro was born in Whangārei in April 1957, the eldest child of six.[2] She is of Māori and English descent, affiliating with Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahu, and Ngāti Hine iwi.[3][4] Her father was Norman Simpson, who was originally from the north of England.[5] Her mother's maiden name was Ngawaiunu Kiro and her maternal grandparents were Te Rangihaeata Hemi Kiro and Hukatere Miha Maihi.[6]

She was raised by her mother's parents for part of her early life and took their surname of Kiro. One of her sisters also has the name Kiro, while her other siblings have the name Simpson.[5] She grew up in South Auckland and West Auckland. Her grandparents moved to South Auckland, living at Ōtara and then Māngere.[5] Her parents also moved to Auckland and the family lived at New Lynn and Te Atatū in West Auckland.[2] Kiro attended Rutherford High School in Te Atatū.[5][7]

She then joined the first cohort of social work students at Massey University in Palmerston North.[7] She completed a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from the University of Auckland.[8] In 1987 Kiro graduated with a certificate in epidemiology from the European University Institute in Fiesole, Italy.[8]


From 1995 to 2000 Kiro was a senior lecturer in social policy at Massey University in Albany.[9] Kiro was awarded her PhD in social policy from Massey University in 2001 for a thesis entitled Kimihia Hauora Māori = Māori Health Policy and Practice.[10] She went on to gain a Master of Business Administration (Executive) from the University of Auckland.[11]

Kiro was appointed New Zealand's Children's Commissioner in 2003 and served in this role until 2008.[9][12] While in this role she established the Taskforce for Action on Family Violence that included many government department chief executives, and people from areas such as the police, Family Courts, and Māori and Pacific Island representatives.[13] The passing of the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 during her tenure attracted considerable public and media interest.[14] Kiro supported and advocated for the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which provided a legal justification for using force against children.[15]

Kiro returned to academia, as an associate professor at Massey University and heading its School of Public Health.[16][17] In 2013 Kiro took a position as head of Te Kura Māori at the School of Education at Victoria University of Wellington.[18] Kiro went on to serve as the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Māori) at the University of Auckland.[19]

In October 2020 Kiro was appointed chief executive of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, commencing on 1 March 2021.[19]


Appointment and investiture

Kiro showing the Queen her insignia of Companion of the Queen's Service Order during a virtual private audience, 19 October 2021

On 24 May 2021, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Elizabeth II, Queen of New Zealand had agreed to her recommendation to appoint Kiro as the next governor-general of New Zealand from 21 October 2021. The five-year term of the previous governor-general, Dame Patsy Reddy, ended on 28 September 2021.[11] Kiro is the first Māori woman to be appointed as governor-general.[20]

Kiro was invested as a Dame Grand Cross of the New Zealand Order of Merit and Companion of the Queen's Service Order by Queen Elizabeth II during a private audience via video call on 19 October (18 October British time).[21] She was sworn in as governor-general by the chief justice, Helen Winkelmann, at Parliament on 21 October.[22][23] The ceremony was smaller than usual because of COVID-19 restrictions on the size of gatherings.[22]


Kiro travelled to the United Kingdom on 1 June 2022 for a week-long tour to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II. She attended the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, which included New Zealand defence personnel.[24]

On 14 June, Kiro, in the exercise of her constitutional role, swore in a government minister for the first time; Kieran McAnulty was appointed to the Executive Council.[25]

Honours and awards

Viceregal styles of
Dame Cindy Kiro
Flag of the Governor-General of New Zealand.svg
Reference styleHer Excellency the Right Honourable
Spoken styleYour Excellency

In 2012, Kiro received the Public Health Champion award from the Public Health Association of New Zealand, and a US Fulbright Travel Award.[26][27] The same year she was also named the Māori of the Year for Community Contribution by Television New Zealand.[26]

In the 2021 New Year Honours, Kiro was appointed a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to child wellbeing and education.[28][29][30]

On 9 August 2021, Kiro was appointed as an additional Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit and as an additional Companion of the Queen's Service Order in preparation for becoming governor-general.[31] As governor-general, Kiro is entitled to be styled "Her Excellency" while in office and "The Right Honourable" for life.[32][33]

On 21 October 2021, Kiro was appointed a Dame of the Order of Saint John by the Queen and appointed a prior of the same order as the governor-general.[34]

Personal life

Kiro and Richard Davies in London, June 2022

Kiro was married to architect, later teacher,[2] Chris Kuchel for 30 years, and had two sons with him.[35] Five years after separating, she met her current husband, GP Richard Davies, and is stepmother to his two sons.[7][19][35]

See also


  1. ^ Small, Zane (24 May 2021). "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces Dame Cindy Kiro as next Governor-General". Newshub.
  2. ^ a b c Hewitson, Michelle (15 August 2003). "A horribly good voice for the kids". NZ Herald. Archived from the original on 24 May 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Associate Professor Cindy Kiro – Massey University". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Dame Cindy Kiro - from humble beginnings to Governor General". RNZ. 25 May 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d Husband, Dale (7 November 2021). "Dame Cindy Kiro: A pōhara kōtiro from the wop-wops". E-Tangata. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Haere rā Professor Dame Cindy Kiro". University of Auckland. 24 February 2021. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Evans, Julianne (November 2018). "Nau mai e Cindy" (PDF). Uni News. University of Auckland: 6–7. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  8. ^ a b "ORCID".
  9. ^ a b "Dr Cindy Kiro appointed Commissioner for Children". 13 August 2003. Archived from the original on 24 May 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  10. ^ Kiro, Cynthia A. (2001). "Kimihia Hauora Māori = Māori Health Policy and Practice" (PDF). Massey University. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  11. ^ a b "Dame Cindy Kiro to be next Governor-General of New Zealand - Ardern". Radio New Zealand. 24 May 2021. Archived from the original on 24 May 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  12. ^ Romanos, Joseph (6 May 2009). "The Wellingtonian interview: Cindy Kiro". Stuff. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Professor Cindy Kiro - Chair". Welfare Expert Advisory Group - Kia Piki Ake. Archived from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  14. ^ "Anti-smacking bill becomes law". NZ Herald. 16 May 2007. Archived from the original on 6 November 2020. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  15. ^ "Public Health Champion 2012 – Cindy Kiro". Public Health Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Maori graduates' achieve success". Stuff. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  17. ^ "Associate Professor Cindy Kiro | Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga". Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  18. ^ "New staff at Te Kura Māori". 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 24 May 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  19. ^ a b c "Professor Cynthia Kiro appointed as Ahorangi Chief Executive". Royal Society Te Apārangi. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  20. ^ "Dame Cindy Kiro: New Zealand's first Māori woman to be governor-general, on her 'very poor' upbringing and life of service". The New Zealand Herald. 24 May 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  21. ^ "The Queen invests Dame Cindy Kiro with the traditional Insignia of the Governor-General in video call". Stuff. 19 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Dame Cindy Kiro sworn in as Governor-General". RNZ. 21 October 2021. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  23. ^ Smith, Phil (22 October 2021). "Swearing-in a Governor General: a photo essay". RNZ. Archived from the original on 23 October 2021. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  24. ^ "Governor-General's Visit To The UK For The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Week". Scoop. 31 May 2022. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Appointment of Minister and Allocation of Portfolios". (Press release). Government House. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  26. ^ a b "Prof Dame Cynthia Kiro - The University of Auckland". Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  27. ^ "PHA Awards". Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  28. ^ "New Year honours list 2021". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  29. ^ "New Year Honours: Former children's commissioner Prof Cindy Kiro made dame companion". Stuff. 30 December 2020. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  30. ^ "New Year's Honours 2021 list announced". RNZ. 31 December 2020. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
  31. ^ "Special honours list 9 August 2021". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 10 August 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  32. ^ "Protocols". New Zealand Parliament. 2015. pp. 5, 9. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 8 June 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  33. ^ ""The Right Honourable"". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 1 April 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  34. ^ "Order of St John". The London Gazette. No. 3936025. 25 November 2021.
  35. ^ a b Tailor, Leena (7 June 2021). "Dame Cindy Kiro: 'I know what it's like to go hungry'". New Zealand Woman's Weekly. Retrieved 22 October 2021.

External links

Government offices
Preceded by Governor-General of New Zealand
Order of precedence
Preceded byas Monarch Order of Precedence of New Zealand
as Governor-General

Succeeded byas Prime Minister
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