Prime Minister John Key meets French President Francois Hollande

  • 15/07/2016
(Tova Obrien / Newshub.)
(Tova Obrien / Newshub.)

John Key has met with French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Bastille Day - the French national holiday.

Mr Key was there to watch a contingent of New Zealand Defence Force personnel march in the annual military parade down the Champs-Elysees.

The Kiwis were invited to honour New Zealand's contribution to the Somme offensive in France 100 years ago, Māori warriors carrying Taiaha brought plenty of pride and honour to the ceremony, while several NZDF members dressed in authentic First World War costumes.

Mr Key joked during his speech to the contingent that the French forces had better military kit than his New Zealanders, and that he was jealous.

Considering over 12,000 New Zealanders were killed in France and Belgium during the First World War, four times the number than at Gallipoli, his joke was perhaps a little insensitive.

The Prime Minister says he and Mr Hollande covered a range of topics, including Britain's exit from the EU and Helen Clark's bid for the UN's top job.

Prime Minister John Key meets French President Francois Hollande

Bastille Day parade down the Champs-Elysees in Paris (Reuters)

Prime Minister John Key meets French President Francois Hollande

Maori warriors from the NZDF take part in the parade, Mr Key joked the French military had better kit (Reuters)

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