15 Jul 2016

NZ troops in Bastille Day parade in Paris

9:04 am on 15 July 2016

New Zealand troops have taken part in the Bastille Day parade in Paris led by Māori soldiers.

New Zealand personnel during the annual Bastille Day military parade 2016.

The New Zealand contingent at the Bastille Day Parade. Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Whakahoehoe wears the red Ngā Tapuwae kahu huruhuru Māori feather cloak. Photo: AFP / Gerry Ellis / Minden Pictures / Biosphoto

Defence force personnel paraded regimental colours and banners representing New Zealand units that served in WWI, the first time these flags have been paraded together outside of New Zealand.

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Photo: AFP

Māori soldiers from all three military services led the 86-strong New Zealand contingent along Champs-Élysèes in the French capital.

Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Whakahoehoe wore the Ngā Tapuwae kahu huruhuru Māori feather cloak in recognition of his exemplary conduct and contribution to the NZDF.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force paraded their Queen's Colour and the Royal New Zealand Navy their White Ensign.The nine New Zealand Army regimental colours, including the Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles guidon, carry WWI battle honours and represent regions across New Zealand.

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Photo: NZDF

The troops marched alongside 140 Australian soldiers marking both countries' role in the Battle of the Somme.

Prime Minister John Key attended Bastille Day and will visit the New Zealand Memorial in Longueval this weekend to pay his respects to soldiers who fought at the Somme.

NZ Prime Minster John Key, second left, and French President Francois Hollande after their meeting at the Élysée Palace 14 July 2016.

John Key and French President Francois Hollande after their meeting at the Élysée Palace. Photo: AFP

Mr Key met French President Francois Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls in Paris and discussed with both leaders the potential effects of Britain's decision to leave the EU.

He said Mr Hollande was very positive about New Zealand's chances of getting a free trade deal with the European Union, and he came away very optimistic about the prospect of a deal.

Troops from Australia and New Zealand were among the 3000 soldiers to march in the parade in Paris.

Troops from Australia and New Zealand were among the 3000 soldiers to march in the parade in Paris. Photo: AFP