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The Queen's visits to New Zealand

23 December 1953 – 31 January 1954: This was the first time a reigning sovereign had set foot in New Zealand. The Queen toured 46 towns or cities and attended 110 functions. In her Christmas message broadcast from Auckland, Her Majesty paid tribute to the victims of the Tangiwai Rail Disaster.

6-18 February 1963: The Queen attended celebrations at Waitangi. The Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council (now Creative New Zealand) was renamed in her honour.

12-30 March 1970: The Queen participated in the commemorations marking 200 years since Captain James Cook and the crew of the Endeavour visited New Zealand. On this visit she introduced the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne to New Zealand and began the Royal ‘walk-about.’

30 January – 8 February 1974: The Queen attended the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch and New Zealand Day events at Waitangi.

22 February – 7 March 1977: As part of a Commonwealth tour to mark the Queen’s Silver (25th) Jubilee, the Queen visited 11 centres in New Zealand. The Queen opened the Executive Wing building (the Beehive) at Parliament in Wellington.

HM Queen Elizabeth II holds an investiture ceremony at the Wellington Town Hall
HM Queen Elizabeth II holds an investiture at the Wellington Town Hall in 1977. Copyright Woolf Photography.

12-20 October 1981: This visit followed a Commonwealth Heads of Government conference in Melbourne.

22 February – 2 March 1986: This visit was an extension of visits to Nepal and Australia. The Queen visited six centres around New Zealand.

1-16 February 1990: The Queen closed the Commonwealth Games in Auckland and took part in events marking 150 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

HM Queen Elizabeth II at the Commonwealth Games
HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Copyright Woolf Photography

1-10 November 1995: The Queen attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Auckland and opened the refurbished Parliament Buildings.

22-27 February 2002: The Queen visited New Zealand as part of the commemorations of her Golden (50th) Jubilee.

In 1974 the Queen also visited the Cook Islands (part of the Realm of New Zealand) to open the Rarotonga International Airport.


Further information on Royal Visits can be found at New Zealand History.

Last updated: 
Thursday, 3 February 2022

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