National minute of silence in remembrance of Queen Elizabeth II

By Tumamao Harawira

The life and reign of Queen Elizabeth were marked with a state memorial service at the Cathedral of St Paul in Wellington today.

Iwi leaders, Pacific nations' representatives, and former governors-general and prime ministers were among those who attended.

The service started with a parade of the Queen's Colours, including the Queen’s Colour of the Royal New Zealand Navy and the Queen’s Colours of 1st, 2nd/1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Battalions Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro spoke, with Ardern recalling the late Queen's connection to New Zealand.

"Today we gather to acknowledge the deep connection Aotearoa New Zealand has had to her late Majesty the Queen for more than 70 years."

She also read an extract from the first  ‘Royal Visit to New Zealand’, describing the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s departure from Bluff at the end of their first visit to Aotearoa New Zealand in the summer of 1953-1954.


Queen Elizabeth remembered on state funeral public holiday

Bluff cheers

"Nearly an hour passed before the Gothic sailed. For most of the time, the Queen and the Duke leaned over the rail on the upper deck, smiling and waving repeatedly and taking photographs of the scene on shore. A Māori party on the wharf sang songs of farewell and the Gothic’s band played but the overall sound was of cheering, swelling up again and again."

Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro also spoke of the Queen's deep connection to the country.

"She also carried a deep and abiding understanding of the relationship created by the Treaty of Waitangi, and recognised the ongoing need for reconciliation, healing, and peace."