King of Tonga begins five-day visit

22:49, Jul 01 2011
King George Tupou V
King George Tupou V

The King of Tonga arrives in New Zealand today for a five-day visit.

As part of his visit King Tupou V will visit Linton Army Camp and the National War Memorial in Wellington, and will receive an official state welcome at Government House.

The Prime Minister John Key said he was looking forward to meeting the King on Tuesday as part of his official programme.

''New Zealand enjoys a strong and friendly relationship with Tonga, with deep ties at a personal level and frequent contact between our Ministers and officials.

''Tonga was one of the first countries to offer support following the earthquakes in Canterbury.

''The Tongan Government and Red Cross have provided more than $650,000 to various earthquake fundraisers, and the Tongan community has also made a number of private donations.

''This generosity reflects the strong bond between our two countries and the concern felt in Tonga for the people of Christchurch and the Canterbury region.''

King Tupou V returns to Tonga on July 6.

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