9 Sep 2022

Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro on Queen Elizabeth II: 'She's a real symbol of dedication for service'

2:45 pm on 9 September 2022

Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro says the late Queen provided a "sense of continuity and stability" for New Zealand.

Dame Cindy Kiro speaks to the media after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Dame Cindy Kiro speaks to the media after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Dame Cindy Kiro has spoken at a media conference this morning.

Watch the Governor-General speak here:

Queen Elizabeth II has died at Balmoral, aged 96, after reigning for 70 years. With her death, Charles, the former Prince of Wales, has become King and head of state for the Commonwealth realms.

Governor-General Dame Cindy Kiro says it's with enormous sorrow that we acknowledge the death of the Queen and she pays condolences to her family who "will be grieving".

"For most New Zealanders, Queen Elizabeth has really been a constant in our lives. She's provided a sense of continuity and stability for us.

She said she was "a real symbol of dedication for service", after serving for more than 70 years.

"I think New Zealanders will remember her for her service, she worked right up till her death at 96 years old which is a reflection of her commitment."

Dame Cindy said she was so pleased she got to meet the Queen via Zoom and twice in person, and was able to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.

"It was a great honour to witness people's deep love and gratitude for their monarch Queen Elizabeth."

She said she met with King Charles III in July in the UK.

"I know King Charles shares his mother's commitment to service and also a deep affection and regard for NZ and the people of NZ, he's been here many times."

She said he takes a particular interest of what is happening here in New Zealand.

Later today Dame Cindy plans to lay a wreath at a tree that Queen Elizabeth had planted at Government House during a visit "many, many decades ago".

She encouraged Wellingtonians to go down to the waterfront for the gun salute at 6pm.

Follow latest updates on reaction to the death of the Queen:

There would be a memorial service in New Zealand, military salutes, condolence books will be opened and sites made available for tributes, she said.

The Governor-General had written to the new King on behalf of all New Zealanders expressing the condolences of the nation.

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