Prince Philip's death: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says thoughts with Queen

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed New Zealand's deep sorrow following the death of Prince Philip on Friday (NZ time).

"Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time. On behalf of the New Zealand people and the Government, I would like to express my sincere condolences to Her Majesty and to all the Royal Family," Ardern says in a statement.

"Prince Philip will be fondly remembered for the encouragement he gave to so many young New Zealanders through The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award."

The Royal Family Twitter account confirmed the news on Friday night. The 99-year-old prince had recently been hospitalised in February 2021 for what Buckingham Palace said was a "precautionary measure" after he felt ill. 

Ardern says flags on all government buildings and naval vessels will be flown at half-mast and following his funeral a national memorial service will be held in Wellington.

During his lifetime Prince Philip visited New Zealand 15 times - 10 with the Queen, and five without her.

In 1953 he was at the side of the newly crowned Queen as the couple visited 46 towns and attended 110 functions.

"New Zealanders will also remember The Duke of Edinburgh's enormous support for Her Majesty The Queen," Ardern says.

"His time as royal consort exceeded that of any other royal consort in British history. His Royal Highness accompanied The Queen on her ten visits to New Zealand, the first being in 1953, and the last in 2002."

The Duke of Edinburgh held a number of New Zealand honours and appointments.

He was appointed an Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand on 4 June 2012 for services to New Zealand, and also received the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal.

He was made Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1958, and in 1977 he was made Field Marshal of the New Zealand Army, and Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

His New Zealand connections included his roles with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association, Aviation New Zealand, and the Tin Hat Club.

He was an honorary member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Veterans' Association, and an honorary fellow of the New Zealand Institution of Professional Engineers, and the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.