30 Apr 2015

Formal diplomatic action unlikely over killings

9:04 am on 30 April 2015

The Prime Minister says he is dismayed and disappointed by Indonesia's execution of eight drug smugglers - seven of them foreigners - but New Zealand is unlikely to take any formal diplomatic action.

Australian Consul General for Bali Majell Hind (L in black coat) looks at the ambulance carrying a coffin bearing the body of one of the eight drug convicts.

Australian Consul-General Majell Hind (left, in black coat) watches the passage of an ambulance carrying the body of one of the eight convicts. Photo: AFP

Two of those shot by firing squad, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, were Australian and Canberra has withdrawn its ambassador to Indonesia.

Australian's Myuran Sukumaran, left, and Andrew Chan are on death row in Indonesia.

Myuran Sukumaran, left, and Andrew Chan Photo: AFP

John Key said New Zealand joined Australia in lobbying for the men to be spared and was opposed to the death penalty.

But he said because New Zealanders were not among those killed, it was not appropriate to withdraw this country's ambassador.

He said New Zealand had diplomatic relations with a lot of countries that have the death penalty.

"If we were to pull out our ambassador because Australians were executed, then would we pull out our ambassador if Brits were executed, if Americans were executed or others? I think the answer to that is no."

United Nations head Ban Ki-moon has also voiced "deep regret" at Indonesia's decision to execute the eight drug traffickers.

A spokesperson said Mr Ban urged Indonesia to commute all death sentences to lesser punishments.

Indonesia has remained defiant in the face of the international response to yesterday's killings.