Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at the start of her Platinum Jubilee year, and on behalf of New Zealanders thanked her for 70 years of service.
“Today the Queen has reigned for 70 years. She became Queen on 6 February 1952, and today marks the beginning of a year of celebrations of her Platinum Jubilee, as well as the day we remember and celebrate our nation’s founding document,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“Since the Queen took the throne as a young woman of 25, she has dedicated her life to service. We thank her for her dedication and inspiration.
“As Queen of New Zealand, she has always shown a deep personal interest in the life and wellbeing of our nation. On behalf of all New Zealanders I would like to wish her well for this historic year.
“We will celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in a number of ways through the year. The Queen has encouraged anyone who wants to mark the Jubilee to do so by planting trees. I am delighted to announce that the government will make a donation of $1 million to Trees That Count to assist with tree planting programmes across the country to mark the Jubilee.
“I hope many New Zealanders will get behind this work and join in planting trees and other greening projects throughout the year.
“People are welcome to celebrate personally as well, and an emblem has been designed by the New Zealand Herald of Arms that can be used in association with any Platinum Jubilee celebrations,” Jacinda Ardern said.
A 21-gun salute will be fired from Point Jerningham, Wellington on Monday 7 February to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the Throne.
Wellington will also participate in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons, when beacons will be lit across the Commonwealth in early June. Further details will be announced closer to the time.