One shall not forget: When the Queen wasn’t thrilled about her New Zealand tours

The Queen has hosted New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford at Buckingham Palace.

When it comes to the Queen and her tours of New Zealand there are three points the British media never forget.

It’s the “bare bottoms” at pōwhiri, the time eggs were thrown at her, and, shock horror, the time New Zealand made her fly first class rather than on a private plane.

These stories are decades old, but they are regularly recirculated on news websites and by royal writers.

Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.
Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.

Daily Mail royal correspondent Robert Hardman featured lengthy anecdotes about the Queen’s apparently haphazard tours, in surprising detail.


Hardman said the Queen was “alarmed” to be pelted with eggs, when visiting New Zealand in 1986.

“If there was anything to worry about, it was the situation in New Zealand, where the monarchy was increasingly seen as fair game for the more extreme elements of Maori (sic) protest movement,” he wrote, in his 2018 book Queen and the World.

The Queen's visits to New Zealand often cause controversy in the British press.
The Queen’s visits to New Zealand often cause controversy in the British press.

This week, The Express called the egg throwing “an alarming incident”.

As the new millenium approached, the Queen’s favour fell across the Commonwealth.

Britain was moving to ditch traditional economic ties with its old colonies, in favour of new agreements with European nations.

New Zealanders were, as Hardman hinted, also becoming more aware of the Crown’s ongoing Treaty of Waitangi breaches. Generally, a growing number of Commonwealth subjects looked at the Monarchy without rose-tinted glasses.

Of the egg incident, the LA Times reported: “One egg hit the Queen’s full-length pink coat low on the thigh, while another smashed into the car’s windshield.”

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visit New Zealand.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visit New Zealand.

News agency United Press also said: “Native Maori (sic) activists said they planned a ’21-bum salute’ for the Queen later in the visit, to show their strong anti-royal feelings.”

Her next visit in 1995 was just as crazy. Our Government made her fly on a commercial airline, albeit having booked out the entire first class cabin for her. She flew Air New Zealand’s NZ1, London to Auckland via Los Angeles, and it seemed her staff weren’t happy with the arrangement.

Hardman recounted the debacle, saying: “Officials at the Foreign Office in London tried to scupper the idea, arguing that the Queen does not take scheduled flights, ‘for security reasons’. However, as the Queen’s staff at the Palace had to remind the British Government, all things relating to a tour of New Zealand were a matter for her New Zealand Government.”

‘Pistols at dawn’: Deadly duel in Wellington

Pete's Kiwi Korner

26 February 1844

Duel with pistols, 1830 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

William Brewer died of wounds received during a pistol duel with another Wellington lawyer, H. Ross, on 26 February 1844. The duel followed a quarrel over a case in the Wellington County Court.

When the two men faced off in Sydney St, Thorndon, Brewer fired into the air but ‘received Mr. Ross’ ball in the groin’. He died four days later.

Although several people witnessed the duel, the coroner’s inquest concluded that there was no proof as to who had inflicted the wound. The fact that the survivor of a duel could be charged with murder may explain the witnesses’ reticence. On the other hand, perhaps it was a case of ‘what happens on the duelling field stays on the duelling field.’

Brewer was no stranger to duelling. In 1840 he had ‘threatened to call out the next man’ who…

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Rioting Japanese POWs killed in NZ during WW2

Pete's Kiwi Korner


49 killed in Featherston POW incident

25 February 1943

Fatigue squad at the Japanese prisoner of war camp, 1943 (Alexander Turnbull Library, 1/4-000776-F)

Just outside the Wairarapa town of Featherston, a memorial garden marks the site of a Second World War riot that resulted in the deaths of 48 Japanese prisoners of war (POWs) and one guard.

The camp opened in 1942 to hold 800 Japanese POWs captured in the South Pacific. In early 1943, a group of recently arrived prisoners staged a sit-down strike, refusing to work. Guards fired a warning shot, which may have wounded Lieutenant Adachi Toshio. The prisoners then rose and theguards opened fire. Wartime censors kept details of the tragedy quiet amid fears of Japanese reprisals against Allied POWs.

A military court of enquiry absolved the guards of blame, but acknowledged the fundamental cultural differences between captor and captive. The Japanese government…

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State abuse survivor in spying scandal says Govt lawyers set out to vilify him

Pete's Kiwi Korner

Stuff Circuit investigate links between Thompson and Clark and the NZ police.

A state abuse survivor surveilled by private investigatorsis “vindicated” by areport confirming the Crown hired spies, writes Andrea Vance.

As a 10-year-old boy, Keith Wiffin was beaten, sexually abused and psychologically tortured in a state-owned boys’ home.

Forty years later, he came forward as a witness to helptwo brothers who were suing the Ministry of Social Development forabusethey suffered while in the careof the state.

In response, Crown lawyers hired private investigators ICIL to dig up dirt on witnesses and Wiffin, now 59, is certain he was put under surveillance.

"Instead of the Crown taking responsibility for what happened to us, they set out to try and vilify us and cast us in the role of the enemy and it just felt like more abuse," Wiffin said.
ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF”Instead of the Crown taking responsibility for what happened to us, they set out to try and vilify us and cast us in the role of the enemy and it just felt like more abuse,” Wiffin said.

“Instead of the Crown taking responsibility for what happened to…

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Christchurch earthquake kills 185…

Pete's Kiwi Korner

Eighth anniversary today:

22 February 2011

Dust clouds caused by the 22 February earthquake (© Gillian Needham)

At 12.51 p.m. on Tuesday 22 February 2011, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake caused severe damage in Christchurch and Lyttelton, killing 185 people and injuring several thousand.

The earthquake’s epicentre was near Lyttelton, just 10 km southeast of Christchurch’s central business district. It occurred nearly six months after the4 September 2010 earthquake.

The earthquake struck at lunchtime, when many people were on the city streets. More than 130 people lost their lives in the collapse of the Canterbury Television and Pyne Gould Corporation buildings. Falling bricks and masonry killed 11 people, and eight died in two city buses crushed by crumbling walls. Rock cliffs collapsed in the Sumner and Redcliffs area, and boulders tumbled down the Port Hills, with five people killed by falling rocks.

Although not as powerful as the magnitude…

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