Governor-general for 150th

By Janna Sherman

Governor-general Sir Jerry Mateparae has been confirmed as the guest of honour for the Hokitika sesquicentennial celebrations in December.
The Hokitika Goldrush 150 committee received a written acceptance to its invitation on Monday, after months of tentative planning on including the VIP in the December 20 programme.
Goldrush 150 chairwoman Sonja Barker said yesterday the visit was a “coup” for the event, and the town.
“Its very exciting. It adds a whole other dimension. Hopefully, it will increase the amount of coverage we will get on television and the radio. It will be great for Hokitika,” Mrs Barker said.
The committee had a four-hour schedule planned for the Saturday for Sir Gerry, who would be accompanied by an aide de camp, she said.
While it is yet to be confirmed by his office, the itinerary includes welcoming the crew of the river re-enactment ashore at Gibson Quay, unveiling a commemorative plaque, official welcome and opening of the celebrations, and then attending the formal 150th luncheon at the Hokitika Museum.
A public ballot would be held for 20 extra seats to the formal event.
It will be Sir Gerry’s first visit to Hokitika since becoming Governor-general in 2011.
Former Governor-general Anand Satyanand visited the region in 2009, when he was guest of honour at the Wildfoods Festival.