Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy has chosen to highlight the role of women in society in her New Year message.
"The fact that currently our prime minister, governor-general and chief justice are all women can be viewed as evidence of progress with gender equity, but we look forward to the day when it no longer draws comment," she said in a message that noted this year is the 125th anniversary of women achieving the right to vote in New Zealand parliamentary elections.
She says when women and men can participate equally in our democracy, they are empowered to create more inclusive communities and a better future for generations to come.
"We look forward to the day when women no longer have to contend with sexual harassment and domestic violence.
"We look forward to the day when women no longer face barriers in their careers, just because they are women," she said.
When women and men have the same opportunities to reach their potential in whatever roles they choose, there are significant economic and social benefits, she says.
"We look forward to the day when men and women are valued and supported equally as they care for their children, and men are encouraged to join careers that may previously have been seen as women's roles."
She said New Zealand should be proud of its history, including being the first country in the world where all women had the right to vote.
"My challenge to all New Zealanders is to recognise that there is still more to be done."
Dame Patsy has a law degree from Victoria University in Wellington. In 1987 she joined Brierley Investments as group legal counsel and subsequently became group manager for special projects.
During her 11 years at Brierley Investments she was involved in numerous mergers and acquisitions, including the privatisation and subsequent flotation of Air New Zealand, and the construction, establishment and flotation of Sky City Entertainment.
Dame Patsy had extensive experience in governance and consulting roles before becoming New Zealand's 21st governor-general in September 2016.
- NZ Newswire