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King of Tonga first official visit to New Zealand

King Tupou VI
King Tupou VI

UPDATED: The King of Tonga, His Majesty King Tupou VI (54), is due to visit New Zealand today taking in the capital city Wellington before finishing in Auckland the city that home to the largest number of Tongans living in New Zealand.

An expected 2hrs 30 minutes flight from Tonga will land at the Auckland International Airport  this afternoon and the Royal Couple will be  warmly greeted by New Zealand government officials.

Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae said that, “There are special bonds of friendship and community between Tonga and New Zealand and the King’s visit marks a new chapter in the close relationship between our two countries. We look forward in the coming years to strengthening the ties between us, which are underpinned by our shared Polynesian heritage, and a range of bilateral links in the arts, sport, education, trade and defence.”

Tonga Ministry of Education, Dr ‘Ana Maui Taufe’ulungaki is one of the king’s entourage and she will be meeting with New Zealand’s Minister for Education Hon Hekia Parata in the Parliament Building in Wellington on Monday 25th .

The king will be meeting the Prime Minister John Key on Monday afternoon as well as in a separate call round to see the Opposition Leader Hon David Shearer on Tuesday 26th .

His Majesty King Tupou VI will be addressed by officials from Auckland University of Technology while the Queen Nanasipau’u will be visiting the Langimalie Clinic at Onehunga in Auckland followed by another visit to the Fonuaola and the South Auckland Family Violence Prevention Network

Tomorrow will be an opportunity for Tongans who are living in Wellington to see Their Majesties as they will be attending service at Wesley Church.

King Tupou VI, succeeded to the throne in 2012 after the death of his brother King George V,  visited New Zealand in August last year to attend the Maori King’s coronation in Ngaruawahia.