We were saddened to hear of the passing of Dame Catherine Tizard today, a former Patron of Te Kaunihera Wahine o Aotearoa – the National Council of Women of NZ.
The Honourable Dame Catherine was an inspiring trailblazer and in her life and career received many honours for her contributions in public and community service.
In 1971, she became the first woman Mayor of Auckland. In 1985 she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and in 1989 she was the first woman in New Zealand to hold the post of Governor General. As part of her tenure as Governor General, Dame Catherine ended the practice of bowing to the governor-general on the grounds that "no New Zealander should have to bow to another."
She was also a recipient of the Suffrage Centennial Medal in 1993 and received New Zealand's highest honour when she was made a member of the Order of New Zealand in 2002. After leaving public office, she worked tirelessly for community causes. When asked about what she'd like her legacy to be, she once said, "To the best of my ability I tried to do some good, tried to make people's lives better in whatever way I could."
Thank you, Dame Catherine, for your long and distinguished service.
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