Who's on John Key's Christmas card list?
World leaders - have you been naughty or nice?
John Key has made up his mind, and the envelope containing the Prime Minister's annual Christmas card lists has been opened.
Among the notables out of favour with the PM are Fijian leader Frank Bainimarama, who no doubt will be sobbing into his egg-nog after he was sent neither a cheery card nor a bottle of "JK" wine from Key this year.
Others in the naughty corner were the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, and the leaders of Iraq, North Korea, Colombia, Serbia and Syria.
Many African nations, such as Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were also not included.
Reasons for the snubs were not provided, but a look at the country profile pages on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website provides some clues. Neither Fiji nor Syria have any details on their pages. Fiji's is "under review" and Syria's president, Bashar al Assad, is not exactly in favour among western leaders. Mysteriously, Serbia simply does not have an MFAT page at all.
However, Colombia's page talks of a friendly relationship, with bilateral links "deepening".
Most countries where New Zealand has representatives or trade links were sent greetings cards, which feature Key and wife Bronagh, plus some New Zealand motifs. Key also sent one to the Vatican, and to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
In total 135 cards went to overseas leaders and members of the royal family.
Others to make the Christmas cut included local politicians, public service chief executives, the Prime Minister's staff and media.
In New Zealand, more than 1000 cards were sent - 883 to local politicians, 127 to Prime Minister and Cabinet staff, 91 to media, and some to iwi.
The names of those other than world leaders were withheld for privacy reasons.
- Sunday Star Times