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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard

CHRISTOPHER LUXON (Leader of the Opposition): On behalf of Her Majesty’s loyal Opposition, I join with the Prime Minister in honouring the remarkable reign of the Queen of New Zealand, Elizabeth II, and congratulate her on the platinum jubilee of her accession to the throne.

Seventy years ago, a 25-year-old woman took on an extraordinary mantel of responsibility and made a lifelong commitment to serving others; a commitment that she has fulfilled with endless, grace, dignity, and strength. Her Majesty made that commitment and took on that mantel at an immensely difficult time, having lost her beloved father, King George VI, a loss that we know she still feels keenly on the anniversary of her accession.

What followed since that day, 6 February 1952, has been a lifetime of immeasurable and selfless service. A great number of us have only ever known the sense of reassuring stability that the Queen’s reign has afforded to our lives. As our head of State, Her Majesty became the first Queen of New Zealand to visit our shores. In fact, she has visited New Zealand 10 times and members of her family countless more. She now becomes the first Queen of New Zealand to celebrate a platinum jubilee.

Over the last 70 years, New Zealand and the world has changed profoundly. We emerged from under the wing of the British Empire and we chartered our own course as an independent and confident young nation. Throughout that time, the Queen has continued to display her devoted and genuine care for New Zealand and for New Zealanders.

While international institutions have peaked and diminished in their influence and significance, the Queen’s reign has strengthened the role of a modern monarchy and the important part that it plays in our constitutional arrangements and our system of parliamentary democracy.

Her Majesty’s reign has all also included 70 years as the head of the Commonwealth, a body which, in a time of divisive politics and urgent global challenges, is important in bringing together countries with shared values and ideals so that we can find enduring solutions and celebrate our commonalities.

On behalf the New Zealand National Party, I congratulate Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of New Zealand, and wish to convey our sincere gratitude for her lifetime of duty, commitment, and service.

MIL OSI