It was Waitangi Day 1952 when Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne.
Tony Bennett’s ‘Because of You’ played on our radios – the Kiwi summer was burning on and pounds pennies and shillings jangled in pockets from Kaitaia to Invercargill.
A look back at the country the young monarch began to rule over that day paints a picture of a nation coming into its own.
The population wasn’t even half of its current 4.6 million – it took until September of 1952 to New Zealand to finally hit the 2 million mark when an immigrant on the ship Captain Hobson pushed it over the threshold.
Some 51,928 little Kiwis were born that year – including musical icon Tim Finn – future Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and activist Tame Iti. Six decades on and the number of newborns is quite similar – 57,242 babies were born around the country last year.