Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro said the late Queen had provided a “sense of continuity and stability” to New Zealand.

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

Dame Cindy Kiro spoke at a press conference this morning.

Watch the Governor General’s speech here:

Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral, aged 96, after reigning for 70 years. With his death, Charles, the former Prince of Wales, became King and Head of State for the Commonwealth Realms.

Governor General Dame Cindy Kiro says it is with immense sadness that we acknowledge the Queen’s death and offer her condolences to her family who “will be grieving”.

“For most New Zealanders, Queen Elizabeth has really been a constant in our lives. She has given us a sense of continuity and stability.

She said she was “a true symbol of dedication to service”, having served for more than 70 years.

“I think New Zealanders will remember her for her service, she worked until her death at 96, which reflects her commitment.”

Dame Cindy said she was so happy to have been able to meet the Queen via Zoom and twice in person, and was able to celebrate her platinum jubilee.

“It was a great honor to witness people’s deep love and gratitude for their monarch, Queen Elizabeth.”

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

“I know King Charles shares his mother’s commitment to service and a deep affection and consideration for New Zealand and the people of New Zealand, he has been here many times.”

She says he is particularly interested in what is happening here in New Zealand.

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

She encouraged Wellingtonians to descend to the water’s edge for the 6 p.m. gun salute.

Follow the latest updates on the reaction to the Queen’s death:

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

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