Who is New Zealand’s head of state?

This isn’t surprising, the Queen has little to do with Aotearoa in practical terms. Officially:

The Queen of New Zealand’s formal title is: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

In the Maori language, The Queen is known as Kotuku, which means “the white heron”, a cherished bird rarely seen in New Zealand.

That’s appropriate in one way – the Queen is rarely seen in New Zealand. She has visited here ten times in nearly seventy years, the last time in 2002 (as part of the commemoration of her Golden (50th) Jubilee so it was about her, not us).

So if you want to see the Queen you have to got to the other side of the world, and then will struggle to get a sight of her.

It’s a lot easier to go to Whataroa to a White Heron Sanctuary:

We offer the only tour to New Zealand’s one and only White Heron (Kotuku) nesting site.

Located on the West Coast of the South Island 30 km north of Franz Josef Glacier, 100 km south of Hokitika, Whataroa is the start point for White Heron Sanctuary Tours.

I’ve been there, it was a great experience. You go by jet boat downriver to the coast, change over to quieter boat to go to the sanctuary where there are kotuku and spoonbills as well as shags.

I’ve never been to see the Queen, nor any of her family, I have had no interest in doing that.

 

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21 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  16th June 2020

    It sure as hell isn’t Todd Muller. Here he is missing in action again:
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340163

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  16th June 2020

      You’re obsessing about this. Get help.

      PS: Muller isn’t our Head of State.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  16th June 2020

        Neither is Jacinda but she got 25%.

        Muller is a complete waste of space. He’s the sort of guy who gives failure a bad name. He doesn’t bark at every passing car, he gets run over by them.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  16th June 2020

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12340146

        National Party leader Todd Muller seems happy to hand this election to Labour on a platter. Maybe that’s his ploy – let them deal with the mess coming and he’ll look to pick it back up in 2023. Who knows?

        All I know is the only viable, audible, active Opposition at the moment appears to be David Seymour from the Act Party.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  16th June 2020

          Muller has positioned National as a junior partner of the Government. He will be annihilated in September at this rate.

          Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  16th June 2020

    That few New Zealanders know who our head of state is reflects very poorly on our education system.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  16th June 2020

      They didn’t test teachers?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  16th June 2020

        Thats because, quite rightly ‘the head of government’ takes all the limelight – and all the criticism.
        In practice the Governor General is the effective head of state, so its hardly a big deal the formal arrangements arent understood totally.
        Do the Irish know their ceremonial President , or the Germans , or the Israelis.?
        The French system is more like the US with a President having a major executive role.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  16th June 2020

          I am one of the 18% who knew that. It’s astonishing that so few did.

          This doesn’t mean that I think that the English Monarch should still be NZ’s head of state; I don’t.

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  16th June 2020

          Was it news to you, or are you just a cut above the herd?

          We’re not the bog Irish, the Jerries or the Israelis. Squirrel rejected.

          It’s appalling that so few know who our actual head of state is. It’s explained often enuf in media every year that the GG is the Queen’s representative. And the flag change debacle & Geoff Palmer’s bumbling attempts to write a constitution saw plenty of reminders in all media that HM QE II is NZ’s head of state.

          Reply
  3. Blazer

     /  16th June 2020

    Reminds me of….’God may save the Queen ,but who will save the Governor General’
    Gough Whitlam wanted to end servitude to Anglo-American influence…can’t haver that.
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/06/13/sacking-gough-whitlam-and-royal-intention-behind-five-eyes/

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  16th June 2020

      About time you blimmin showed up. Punished us enuf with your absence, have you?
      Feelin the love, B ❤️

      Reply
  4. Griff.

     /  16th June 2020

    Bring on the republic.
    Once QE2 NZ carks time to change .

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  16th June 2020

      Likely to rekindle the debate. The stumbling block will most likely be Maoridom.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  16th June 2020

      Who will know the name of a ceremonial NZ President either… part of the deal will be to keep the office obscure so as to not overshadow the politicians.
      It doesnt worry me either way, as a President will only act on the advice of the PM , as with a GG , who is chosen by the government of the time.
      Cant see much chance of a President here being chosen by popular vote, so wont be much different to that of election of Speaker

      Reply
  5. Conspiratoor

     /  16th June 2020

    Seen a lot of queens but none named liz.

    But I have been to NZ’s last whaling station

    Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  16th June 2020

      Do such things matter? They certainly do. We suffer in this country from a lack of emotional focus… New Zealand will become a republic”
      — David Lange, former Prime Minister

      “New Zealand’s Prime Minister having the ability to appoint the Queen’s representative in New Zealand is inadequate. A New Zealand citizen as head of state will make it clear that New Zealand is an independent country. It will signal New Zealand’s independence and maturity to the world.”

      http://www.republic.org.nz/our-goal

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  16th June 2020

        Lange – a pompous windbag too fond of the sound of his own voice whose own emotional focus went on his speechwriter when it wSn’t on himself, & who bailed out when he lost the confidence of his Cabinet, & spent the rest of his days touring the country making excuses for the things they buggered up.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  16th June 2020

          I spoke to him once and asked a question he didn’t want to answer. He rolled back on his stomach like one of those rolly-polly dolls using it as a defensive barrier and gave a brush-off non-answer.

          Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  16th June 2020

      I’ve been to a couple and had a neighbour who had worked in one but which was the last one?

      Reply
  6. Brian Johnston

     /  16th June 2020

    Calling New Zealand Aotearoa does not help one bit.

    We need the true history of NZ in the open.

    We are lucky the heron survived. Obviously out of sight in Fiordland.

    Reply

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