World leaders keen to visit NZ

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 13:01 11/03/2014

Relevant offers

Politics

Key washes hands of soap 'joke' but has he learned his lesson? PM on prison rape joke: 'It's nothing to do with me' Another minor National bill drawn from ballot amid Opposition complaints International media batter New Zealand's progressive social welfare legacy Parliament's public entrance goes smokefree, but total ban stubbed out Opinion maker: Tony Holman QSO on his vision for a better Auckland post local body elections Nod for Easter Sunday trading law gives councils power to decide Arthur Anae resigns over DHB's plan to sell land to the Government No police checks for potential councillors in Marlborough Wellington's mayoral candidates reveal where they stand on light rail for the capital

As many as six of the world's most powerful leaders could visit New Zealand before and after this year's G20 meeting in Australia.

Prime Minister John Key admits the visits concentrated around the G20 summit in November could present significant logistical challenges but says that with the leaders already being across the Tasman it is too good an opportunity to pass up.

In announcing the election date yesterday Key said a September 20 election would allow eight weeks for a new government to be formed before the Brisbane summit.

"A number of leaders of G20 countries have already expressed an interest in visiting New Zealand and that would not be possible if we were in the midst of an election campaign," Key said.

He refused to say which leaders could visit.

"I can't go into the individual leaders but by definition if you are a leader going to the G20 summit you're one of the 20 most influential leaders, arguably, around the world," he said.

Some of the leaders had not visited New Zealand before but had interests here.

"It's a great opportunity to have a bilateral with a country that's a long way away," he said.

Key hoped one of the visitors would be US President Barack Obama but indicated this was unlikely.

He has previously invited Obama and the leaders of Britain, Canada, Germany and France to visit before or after the summit.

Key admitted it would be a major logistical operation to bring those leaders to New Zealand.

"We'd obviously have to try and manage that process as best we could and encourage some to come before and some after," he said.

Visits by world leaders can lead to heightened security measures and significant traffic disruption.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was working with the leaders to develop plans.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content