Speaking to a small audience at the swearing-in ceremony, Dame Cindy said she was proud of her dual Maori and British heritage. The Governor-general carries out constitutional and ceremonial duties in the former British colony on behalf of the British monarch, who
remains the country's official head of state.
Dame Cindy has had a career in academics and held leadership roles at several New Zealand universities. She holds a PhD in Social Policy and an MBA (Exec) in Business Administration from the University of Auckland and Massey University, and was the first in her family
to achieve a university qualification.
Many Maori, who account for about 17% of New Zealand's population, are still disadvantaged socially and economically.