China's fourth-ranked leader has toured the quake-damaged centre of Christchurch.[image:5006:third:right]
Jia Qinglin, chair of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, visited the red zone on Sunday accompanied by Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.
The Chinese delegation's visit to New Zealand is to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Mr Jia was also to tour the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch before travelling to Queenstown.
Later in the four-day visit he will discuss bilateral matters with Acting Prime Minister Bill English and other ministers.
New Zealand was the first developed country to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with China.
Since that agreement came into force in 2008, exports to China have tripled.