The Queen’s Birthday public holiday was celebrated each year in New Zealand on the first Monday in June, even though Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21 April 1926. The Queen died on 8 September 2022, so from 2023, the public holiday became King's Birthday.
For over a hundred years, the birthday of the reigning King or Queen has been celebrated in June each year in both Britain and New Zealand. New Zealand celebrates this holiday because the Queen is the head of state of New Zealand.
New Zealand’s form of government is known as a constitutional monarchy. The Queen’s official representative in New Zealand is the Governor-General who carries out some political duties on behalf of the Queen, such as opening Parliament and presenting honours to the people who have been awarded them. On the Queen’s Birthday – the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which is a list of New Zealand people who have earned a special award that year – is released.
Queen Elizabeth II in Christchurch
Queen Elizabeth II has visited Christchurch numerous times during her reign including visits in 1954, 1963, and for the 1974 Commonwealth Games held at her namesake sporting venue, Queen Elizabeth II Park, often referred to as QEII. QEII had to be demolished in 2012 due to earthquake damage but the rebuilt pool facility, Taiora QEII is now open.