Meghan Markle uses te reo in her first New Zealand speech

Headlines 29/10/2018

Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle touched down in the land of the long white cloud over the weekend (Sunday), and wasted no time impressing the locals while attending an event at Goverment House last night.

The Duchess spoke at the event, which was put on to commemorate the 125th anniversary of women's right to vote in New Zealand. Speaking to a room full of New Zealand political figures and leaders, the Duchess opened her speech with:

Tēnā kotou katoa

She then moved on to address the suffrage movement and feminism in her three-minute speech, and said she was happy to be in the country.

"The achievements of the women in New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote, and were the first in their world to achieve it, are universally admired," the Duchess said.

"Women's suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness. Suffrage is not only about the right to vote, but also what that represents."

Meghan Markle said the achievements of the suffragette movement were not only about the vote itself, but about the "basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future, and that of your community".

"So bravo New Zealand," she said, "for championing this right 125 years ago, for the women who well deserved to have an active voice, an acknowledged vote, and for all of the people that this achievement has paved the way for, globally.

"We all deeply thank you."

The Duchess ended on a quotation from iconic New Zealand suffragette Kate Sheppard: "All that separates whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman and must be overcome."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern could be seen leaning forward to tell Meghan her speech was "perfect" as she returned to Prince Harry's side after the speech.

Catch the full speech up top!