25 Feb 2013

Sir Jerry welcomes King of Tonga on first official visit

3:35 pm on 25 February 2013

The King and Queen of Tonga have been formally welcomed at Government House in Wellington by the Governor-General, Lieutetant-General Sir Jerry Mateparae.

King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau'u are visiting New Zealand for five days.

It's the king's first official visit to New Zealand since he took the throne last year.

Boys from Wellington's Rongotai College performed a haka before the King inspected a guard of honour and talked to a group of local primary school children who had gathered to watch the welcome.

Sir Jerry said there were special bonds of friendship between Tonga and New Zealand and the King's visit marked a new chapter in the close relationship between the two countries.

King Tupou VI is scheduled to meet Prime Minister John Key and Labour Party leader David Shearer.