Viceregal visiting

Page 1 – Introduction

The Cobhams visit the Cook Islands
The Cobhams visit the Cook Islands

The governor-general comes to town

'To be invisible is to be forgotten,' constitutional theorist Walter Bagehot (1826–77) warned. 'To be a symbol, and an effective symbol, you must be vividly and often seen.' For the King or Queen's New Zealand representative, the governor-general, that meant hitting the road.

The Northland Age editor probably never read Bagehot, but his 1949 editorial echoed his thoughts: 'Their Excellencies are representative in New Zealand of His Majesty the King, and as such are due all the homage, allegiance and respect that we would show Their Majesties were they to accord us a visit.'

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How to cite this page

'Viceregal visiting', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17-May-2023