Events In History


Royal Visit of 1953-54

  • Royal Visit of 1953-54

    For those New Zealanders who experienced it, the visit of the young Queen and her dashing husband, Prince Philip, to New Zealand in the summer of 1953-54 was a never-to-be forgotten event.

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  • Page 2 – Itinerary

    The progress of the royal visit down the length of the country

  • Page 3 – Popularity

     Why was the royal visit of 1953/4 greeted with such enthusiasm by New Zealanders?

  • Page 4 – The Queen and Māori

     For many Māori the royal visit raised important issues about their place in New Zealand.

  • Page 5 – A pastoral paradise

    Following their stay in Auckland and visits to Waitangi, Hamilton and Rotorua, the Queen and Duke had a two-day break at Lake Rotoiti before flying to Gisborne and Napier.

  • Page 6 – A loyal people

    As head of the Church of England the Queen laid the foundation stone of the new Anglican cathedral in Wellington, and as head of the Commonwealth's armed forces she laid

  • Page 7 – Great place to bring up children

    On the day of the reception for children at Athletic Park, the Evening Post wrote: 'As the mother of two young children 12,000 miles away, the Queen today assumed the

  • Page 8 – Remembering the royals

    Memories from around the country of the 1953-54 royal tour to New Zealand

  • Page 9 – Later royal visits

    On 30 January 1954 the Gothic sailed from Bluff and after a brief side trip into Milford Sound, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip departed for Australia. They have returned

  • Page 10 – Further information

    Recommended books and websites relating to the 1953-4 Royal Tour

Viceregal visiting

  • Viceregal visiting

    'To be invisible is to be forgotten,' constitutional theorist Walter Bagehot (1826–77) warned. For the King or Queen's New Zealand representative, the governor-general, that meant hitting the road

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  • Page 1 - Viceregal visiting'To be invisible is to be forgotten,' constitutional theorist Walter Bagehot (1826–77) warned. For the King or Queen's New Zealand representative, the governor-general, that

Queen Elizabeth II

  • Queen Elizabeth II

    Queen Elizabeth II became New Zealand's monarch on 6 February 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI

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  • Page 2 – Constitutional and public ceremonial roles

    The Queen was New Zealand’s head of state. Her title was confirmed by Royal Titles Acts of 1953 and 1974, the latter entitling her ‘Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God

  • Page 3 – Royal tours

    About three out of every four New Zealanders saw the Queen as she visited 46 centres and attended 110 functions in 1953-54

  • Page 4 – Māori and the Queen

    Māori ‘were primarily concerned to express their loyalty to the Crown and to win acceptance as New Zealand citizens.’ They were just as enthusiastic about the tour as other New

  • Page 5 – Changing attitudes to monarchy

    The post-war social consensus began to fray in the 1960s. More frequent visits by the Queen and other members of her family reduced some of the mystique. At the same time,

Premiers and Prime Ministers

  • Premiers and Prime Ministers

    From Henry Sewell in 1856 to Chris Hipkins in 2023, New Zealand has had 41 prime ministers and premiers. Read biographies of the men and women who have held the top job, discover more about the role's political origins, and explore fascinating prime ministerial facts and trivia.

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  • Page 2 - Political originsOverview of the influence of the British political system in New Zealand and our move toward self-government in the 19th

The 1920s

  • The 1920s

    The 1920s was the decade that modern New Zealand came of age. Despite political and economic uncertainty, the country shrugged off the gloom of war to embrace the Jazz Age - an era of speed, power and glamour. Explore an overview of the decade and a year-by-year breakdown of key events.

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  • Page 3 - 1920 - key eventsA selection of key New Zealand events from

History of the Governor-General

  • History of the Governor-General

    New Zealand has had a governor or (from 1917) a governor-general since 1840. The work of these men and women has reflected the constitutional and political history of New Zealand in many ways.

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  • Page 6 - RegalisedThe constitutional arrangements of the British Empire changed greatly between the creation of the Imperial War Cabinet in 1917 and the passing of the Statute of Westminster in