15 May 2015

Harry's birthday message for Andrew Little

8:28 pm on 15 May 2015

Prince Harry congratulated Labour leader Andrew Little on his 50th birthday when the two met tonight.

Mr Little and Labour's deputy leader Annette King went into their meeting with Prince Harry and the Prince raised Mr Little's 50th birthday which was last week.

Although Mr Little recently repeated his call for New Zealand to become a republic, that was unlikely to have been raised in the meeting.

Instead, Mr Little was expected to discuss the Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli. Both Prince Harry and Mr Little were at Gallipoli for the 100th anniversary.

Mr Little was also expected to ask how the Prince's visit to New Zealand has been.

The meeting was expected to last half an hour after which Prime Minister John Key will have his meeting.

Prince William also met with the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition (then David Cunliffe) on his visit last year.

Mr Little tweeted about his meeting with Prince Harry afterward, saying the Prince was "a thoroughly nice young man doing a difficult job with real dignity."

Harry welcomed to Auckland

Prince Harry was welcomed to Auckland with an array of Pasifika performances by south Auckland school students.

The prince started the final leg of his trip to New Zealand at Southern Cross School Campus in Mangere.

He spent about an hour at the campus this morning, handing out certificates and meeting students.

Upon arriving at the school hall, the prince jokingly tried to shake rain drops off his suit, causing some of the students to giggle.

Tongan, Samoan and Cook Island students performed cultural dances for the Prince.

Prince Harry then visited Middlemore Hospital's spinal rehabilitation centre where there was a Maori welcome, a waiata and a speech by rugby legend Sir Colin Meads.

At the end of his visit to the unit, Prince Harry was given an All Blacks Jersey.

Rugby stars Keven Mealamu and Jerome Kaino presented the shirt, printed with "P Harry" and the number 15.

"He was like, 'finally, I get one of these'," Mealamu said.

"It was pretty special to have him come in."

Kevin Mealamu and Jerome Kaino join Prince Harry to meet with current patients.

Kevin Mealamu and Jerome Kaino join Prince Harry to meet with current patients. Photo: RNZ / Tiana Barns

Prince Harry commiserates Jerome Kaino's injury, centre is Keven Mealamu.

Prince Harry commiserates Jerome Kaino's injury, centre is Keven Mealamu. Photo: Pool

Harry was also given two watercolour paintings by patients at the spinal unit, which he said were "amazing".

"Are you sure you want to give it to me", he asked artist Philip Spring, who was injured in a rugby accident 36 years ago.

Mr Spring's painting, which was very large, featured a wheelchair rugby clash.

Grant Sharman, who holds a brush in his mouth, gave Prince Harry this picture.

Grant Sharman, who holds a brush in his mouth, gave Prince Harry this picture. Photo: Pool

The prince also chatted to Grant Sharman, who paints holding a brush in his mouth.

Mr Sharman, of Pukekohe, gave him a watercolour depicting the prince with a helicopter.

"I love that," Harry said. "What is it?"

"It's you!" Mr Sharman said.

Prince Harry is currently visiting an organisation called TYLA (Turn Your Life Around), which works with children, young people and families to reduce and prevent youth offending.

Prince Harry stepped straight up to play a young guy at table soccer when he arrived.

He took on another guy at table tennis, but missed an early shot and said "I gotta warm up."

Prince Harry played a young man at a fast version of pool, after which he and the group of young people entered a very lively game of paper scissors rock with actions and lots of running around.

The Prince painted his hand purple to contribute to the handprint wall at TYLA, but quickly dashed across the room to plant a purple handprint onto the head of a member of the British media.

The crowd of people at TYLA erupted into laughter and the photographer looked shocked.

"You know why I did that," Prince Harry said, while laughing.

He apologised to the young people there, who were all smiling and laughing at the disruption.

Prince Harry and the group then sat down and ran through the values of the trust's programme: trust, truth, respect, choice and consequence.

Prince Harry asked the young people whether any of the people there had made bad choices.

"Where there consequences? Did you make it right? If you haven't made it right, you need to," he said.

He said it was the actions that people take to make things right that build their character, not the bad choices they make.

Prince Harry left TYLA with a big smile on his face, despite an early slip up with a staffer at TYLA calling him Prince William by accident.

He shrugged off the mishap with a small laugh and the young people gave the member of staff lots of stick about it.

And the flag?

The debate over changing the New Zealand was a topic in Prince Harry's meetings with both the Prime Minister and Mr Little earlier this evening.

After their meeting, a spokesman for Mr Key said they had discussed a range of issues including the flag referendums, the recent flooding in Wellington, the Treaty relationship and efforts to raise educational achievement for Maori and Pasifika students.

"The Prime Minister was pleased to hear Prince Harry had thoroughly enjoyed his trip to New Zealand and to receive an assurance that he would be back,"

- RNZ / Pool

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