30 Nov 2013

Dunedin celebrates Queen's Baton relay

6:09 pm on 30 November 2013

Hundreds of people turned out in Dunedin on Saturday afternoon to see the Queen's Baton on its last day in New Zealand.

The baton has been carried for four days through Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin, as part of the build up to the Commonwealth Games being staged in the Scottish city of Glasgow next year.

City Councillor Neville Peat places the baton on a table in the Octagon.

Dunedin City Councillor Neville Peat with the Queen's Baton. Photo: RNZ

Its arrival in Dunedin was timed to coincide with annual celebrations for St Andrew's Day, the national day of Scotland.

Councillor Neville Peat accepted the baton for the city. He says Dunedin's strong Scottish heritage means the baton's arrival on St Andrew's Day has a special significance, and he described it as a great honour.

He said it will not travel further from Scotland during its tour of all 70 Commonwealth countries, and it was a thrill to host it.

The baton was carried by relay from Dunedin Railway Station to the Octagon, where the crowd was treated to a four pipe band spectacle, Scottish dancing and music performances.

The Queen placed a message to the Commonwealth inside the baton before sending it on its way.

As a curtain-raiser to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games the baton will visit 70 nations and territories over a period of 288 days.