Prime Minister Key Visits Tonga, Meets with King

  July 10, 2009 at 9:31 am by

On July 7 New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key began a series of official visits to Tonga, Samoa, Niue, and the Cook Islands. During the visit, Key will meet with all four Prime Ministers; he will also meet King George Tupou V of Tonga. The visits will last until July 10.

The meeting (in fact meetings, plural) with the King took place on the 7th, the first being an audience soon after the Prime Minister’s arrival in the island nation. The second meeting was a dinner, reported to have lasted late into the night. The audience took place at Consular House, where the official delegation met the King’s dogs, Pulupa and Estelle.

Key is flying between the islands with the RNZAF, and the official delegation includes (amongst others) the Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Georgina te Heuheu and Maori Party co-leader, Dr Pita Sharples. Bronagh Key, the PM’s wife, is also travelling with the delegation.

HM King George Tupou V travelled to New Zealand in 2006 to attend the funeral of the Maori Queen, and her son’s coronation.

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