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King of Tonga visits Wellington

Monday 25 Feb 2013 5:14 a.m.

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The King of Tonga will be welcomed in Wellington for his first official state visit to New Zealand.

King Tupou VI, who was crowned after his older brother King George Tupou V died in March 2012, will be formerly welcomed at Government House on Monday.

Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae said: "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.

"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."

King Tupou VI will attend a state dinner and lay a wreath at the National War Memorial in Wellington, before heading to Auckland to meet education providers.

His visit will end in Auckland on Wednesday.

He is accompanied by Queen Nanasipau'u.

NZN

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