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Monday, 25 February, 2002, 14:37 GMT
Row looms over Australia royal visit
The Queen greets the crowd outside Wellington Cathedral
The Queen was warmly welcomed in Wellington
Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee tour of Australia looks set to be overshadowed by calls for the resignation of the country's governor general.

Dr Peter Hollingworth is under pressure to resign over his alleged mishandling of child sex abuse cases during his time as Archbishop of Brisbane.

Australian cabinet ministers on Monday gave Dr Hollingworth their full backing ahead of the Queen's arrival on Wednesday.
Governor-General:
  • Represents Queen in Australia
  • Power to dismiss government and call elections
  • Role traditionally non- partisan and symbolic
  • Appointment or dismissal recommended by Australian PM

    Dr Peter Hollingworth:

  • Inner city Anglican minister from age of 25
  • 12 years as Archbishop of Brisbane
  • OBE, Doctor of Letters, Masters degree in Social Work

      Click here for profile

  • The governor-general is due to greet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in Adelaide after she completes her visit to New Zealand.

    Anger has been growing over Dr Hollingworth's handling of child sex abuse allegations in the Anglican Church when he was an archbishop more than a decade ago. A weekend poll showed a huge majority believe he should quit or be sacked.

    But Australian Prime Minister John Howard has said he is unwilling to ask the Queen to end Dr Hollingworth's time in office.

    On Australian television last week Dr Hollingworth angered many when he suggested a 14-year old victim had provoked the sexual abuse. But he later apologised, saying he had misunderstood the context.

    The BBC's royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell says this is the "biggest political scandal in Australia in a generation and Buckingham Palace is very anxious to avoid the Queen becoming embroiled in it".

    Maori welcome

    Meanwhile the Queen has received a warm welcome across New Zealand.


    I am sure that a stronger nation will emerge from your efforts to address the past

    The Queen to Maori tribe

    On Monday the royal tour continued in Christchurch, on the South Island, where the Queen was given a traditional Maori welcome.

    She wore a Maori cloak, a mantle of authority, and said a few words in the tribal language of Ngai Tahu, New Zealand's fourth largest tribe.

    And the royal visitor was presented with a gold and silver brooch adorned with white heron feathers reserved for chiefs.

    The Queen spoke of her respect for the courage of all those working towards a resolution of Maori land claims.

    "I am sure that a stronger nation will emerge from your efforts to address the past and move forward towards a shared future; a nation in which all the people of these islands can participate fully," she said.

    Full-blooded

    Later the Queen was greeted by three Maori warriors, soldiers at Burnham Military Camp, in tribal grass skirts.

    She was introduced to "the last living full-blooded Maori", 93-year-old Pau Leonard.

    The Queen and Prince Philip arrived in New Zealand from Jamaica on Friday.

    They will return from their 15-day tour of the three realms of Jamaica, New Zealand and Australia on 4 March.

     WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
    "Even after 50 years there can still be surprises"
    See also:

    25 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
    Profile: Australia's governor-general
    21 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
    Howard stands by governor-general
    18 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
    Hollingworth rejects new abuse allegations
    02 Jan 02 | Asia-Pacific
    Sex scandal threat to Queen's visit
    24 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
    Queen begins NZ duties
    23 Feb 02 | South Asia
    NZ premier denies royal snub
    21 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
    Queen leaves Jamaica for New Zealand
    19 Feb 02 | Americas
    Queen speaks to Jamaican Parliament
    25 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
    Australian papers turn on Hollingworth
    Internet links:


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