Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Tangiwai - Governor Gen's speech & Queen's message

Tangiwai - GG speech and Queen's message

Please see below the text of the Governor-General's speech at the Tangiwai commemorations, including the Queen's message.

The Honourable Dame Silvia Cartwright PCNZM, DBE Governor-General of New Zealand at the 50th Anniversary of the Tangiwai train disaster 21 December 2003

Nga mate * nga aitua * ka tangihia e tatou i tenei wa. Haere. Haere. Haere. The dead, those being mourned, we lament them now. Farewell. Farewell. Farewell.

Greetings. Prime Minister, Ministers of the Crown, dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen.

The Summer of 1953/54 was earmarked for a particularly joyous event: The visit of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. For those who are old enough to have witnessed the visit, you will remember the very special atmosphere surrounding the young Queen's arrival in New Zealand. It was the first time a reigning monarch had set foot in New Zealand. The streets were lined with thousands of people, dressed in their Sunday best, to greet The Queen and her husband. Union Jacks were waved and Royal Tour Medallions were displayed with pride.

But on the night of Christmas Eve 1953, a tragic accident occurred here at Tangiwai that dramatically changed the mood of a nation. What should have been a summer of celebration turned into a summer of grieving. Queen Elizabeth was among the first to learn of the terrible train crash which took so many lives. Last-minute adjustments were made to her Christmas speech, and in her broadcast from Auckland, she finished with a message of sympathy to the people of New Zealand.

On 31 December Prince Philip attended the state funeral for 21 unidentified victims in Wellington. They were buried at Karori Cemetery in an 18-metre long grave. On the last day of the royal tour the Queen awarded Cyril Ellis and John Holman the George Medal for their heroic rescue efforts at Tangiwai. William Inglis and Arthur Bell, who had single-handedly rescued 16 people, received the British Empire Medal.

Today, The Queen, like all of us, remembers those tragic days. I would like the read out a message from Queen Elizabeth.

Her Majesty writes:

"Both Prince Philip and I vividly recall the sense of profound shock when we heard the news whilst we were staying at Government House in Auckland during our first visit to New Zealand all those years ago. I know that there will be many at the ceremony whose lives were changed for ever by the events of that night. My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you gather to remember that terrible disaster."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>

 
 

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>

ALSO:

Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages