Jacinda Ardern farewells Dame Patsy Reddy as Governor-General, hands her husband Sir David Gascoigne new honour

The Prime Minister has thanked Dame Patsy Reddy for her "tireless service" during an "eventful term of office" as she prepares to step aside as New Zealand's Governor-General on Tuesday.

It marks the end of a five-year tenure that coincided with several historic moments in New Zealand's history - including the Kaikōura earthquake, March 15 terror attack, Whakaari/White Island eruption and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Former Children's Commissioner Dame Cindy Kiro will next month succeed Dame Patsy, who was just the third woman to hold the office of Governor-General after Dame Cath Tizard and Dame Silvia Cartwright.

Jacinda Ardern acknowledged Dame Patsy's contributions in a statement on Tuesday morning.

"Today marks the end of an eventful term of office for Dame Patsy and I want to acknowledge and thank her for her tireless service to New Zealand over the last five years," she said.

"Dame Patsy has met thousands of people and celebrated the achievements and contribution of extraordinary New Zealanders in every walk of life.

"She has found new and creative ways to connect with people during the COVID pandemic, using distanced and virtual meetings to highlight the work of those supporting the nation's response."

The Prime Minister said Dame Patsy "could not have foreseen the unprecedented events that would both challenge and unite our communities" when she took on the role of Governor-General in 2016.

But she was full of praise for all she had achieved while in the position.

"Dame Patsy came to the office of Governor-General from a distinguished career in law and governance," Ardern went on.

"She brought with her a passion for creativity, innovation and the arts, a deep commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi and the Crown-Māori relationship, and a desire to contribute to a strong, successful and vibrant Aotearoa New Zealand."

"On behalf of the government and people of Aotearoa New Zealand, I thank her for her service."

In farewelling Dame Patsy, Ardern also acknowledged her husband Sir David Gascoigne for standing beside her and supporting her while she occupied the role.

And she revealed he has been appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order - his third honour after he was awarded a CBE for services to film in 1988 and a Knighthood (KNZM) for services to the arts and business in 2009.

Ardern said his latest honour was "much-deserved".

Dame Patsy was the recipient of a Damehood (DNZM) for services to the arts and business in 2014 and was appointed as additional Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (GNZM) and additional Companion of the Queen's Service Order (QSO) in 2016 as Governor-General Designate.

A state farewell for her, originally planned for September 6, was postponed due to the Delta COVID-19 outbreak and will be rescheduled.

Dame Cindy Kiro will be sworn in as Governor-General on Thursday, October 21, and Chief Justice Dame Helen Winkelmann will act as Administrator of the Government in the interim.