King of Tonga to visit

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 10:30 22/02/2013
TUPOU VI: King of Tonga.
ANDREW GORRIE
TUPOU VI: King of Tonga.

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The King of Tonga will visit New Zealand next week.

It will be his first official state visit here.

King Tupou VI took over the reign after his brother, George Tupou V, died in Hong Kong last March.

Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae said King Tupou would be in Wellington next Monday and would conclude his trip in Auckland on Wednesday.

He will be accompanied by wife, Queen Nanasipau'u.

"There are special bonds of friendship and community between Tonga and New Zealand and the King's visit marks a new chapter in the close relationship between our two countries," Mateparae said.

"We look forward in the coming years to strengthening the ties between us, which are underpinned by our shared Polynesian heritage, and a range of bilateral links in the arts, sport, education, trade and defence."

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