New Zealand’s prime minister Chris Hipkins has planted a native totara tree in parliament’s grounds to mark the King’s upcoming coronation.
The ceremony was an early start to a campaign to plant 100,000 native trees around New Zealand. The government has donated one million New Zealand dollars (£493,000) to the effort.
“King Charles being an avid environmentalist and a keen gardener, we thought it was appropriate that we recognise his coronation in a way that leaves a lasting legacy that recognises his passions and his interests,” Mr Hipkins said.
New Zealand is a former British colony and under its constitutional arrangements, Charles remains New Zealand’s king and head of state. But his role is largely ceremonial.
“A couple of us won’t be here for that, we’re going to be at the coronation, so we wanted to get started,” he said. “The people’s place, parliament, is the appropriate place for us to really begin these celebrations.”
Mr Hipkins was joined in the tree-planting ceremony by opposition leader Christopher Luxon and other dignitaries.
Totara trees have huge trunks and can grow up to 30 metres (100 feet).