Prince Philip: NZ Parliament’s special session to pay tribute to Duke of Edinburgh

Members of Parliament will this afternoon forgo normal House business in a special session to pay tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will begin the sitting with a speech, followed by National leader Judith Collins.

Leaders of the Greens, Act and the Māori Party will also make a speech in the House this afternoon.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta, Pacific Peoples’ Minister William Sio and Defence Minister Peeni Henare will also give speeches in the House.

Parliament will adjourn for the day after the speeches are finished – usually, the House sits until 10pm on a Tuesday.

Prince Philip died on Friday night (NZ time) – Ardern said at time he would be will be “fondly remembered for the encouragement he gave to so many young New Zealanders through The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award”.

A memorial service for Prince Philip will be held on April 21.

Ardern said that will be a chance to acknowledge someone who sacrificed his adult life to serve the Queen and Commonwealth.

The state memorial service will be at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul at 3pm on April 21, and attended by the PM and Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.

The flags on public buildings would be at half-mast on that day, as well as the day of the funeral in the UK on April 17.

Ardern acknowledged people might hold different views on the monarchy and its place in New Zealand’s history, but Prince Philip should be acknowledged for the sacrifice he had made for the Queen and the Commonwealth.

“When we come into politics, we very knowingly do so for a particular period of time.

“We often do not know how long that will be, but for the most part we know it will not be the majority of our working life.

“But for Prince Philip it was, and he knew that. I think there is something very significant about that.”

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