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NZ appoints Indian governor-general

Anand Satyanand was sworn-in as New Zealand's governor-general, the de facto head of state.

india Updated: Aug 23, 2006 11:49 IST

The first New Zealander of Indian descent was sworn-in on Wednesday amid pomp and ceremony as governor-general, the de facto head of state.

Sixty-two-year-old Anand Satyanand, the son of ethnic Indian parents from Fiji, will be the representative in New Zealand of the head of state Queen Elizabeth II.

Satyanand worked as a lawyer and judge before being appointed to the largely ceremonial role.

He was sworn-in amid a fanfare of trumpets and a 21-gun salute in front of Wellington's parliament buildings.

Prime Minister Helen Clark said Satyanand's appointment reflected the changing face of New Zealand society.

"In the 21st century we expect the governor-general to relate to and be connected to the diversity of contemporary New Zealand," Clark said.

Satyanand also took up the theme, saying the country's identity was a blend of Maori, European, Pacific Island and Asian influences.

"And let us strengthen, foster and encourage trust among the various communities that make-up New Zealand.