Boris Johnson apologises for Kiwi visa delays

UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson has apologised for delays Kiwis are experiencing getting UK working holiday visas, saying it is a bureaucratic issue.

Kiwis planning their OE in the UK have had to cancel flights and have lost money on booked travel plans because of significant visa processing delays.

Johnson also raised the idea of a commonwealth working visa. He made the comments after unveiling a new memorial at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, his first public appearance in New Zealand.

The NZ-UK memorial, an Oak tree merged with a Pohutakawa tree, is a symbolic gift from Great Britain to New Zealand honouring over a century of shared losses in war.

Johnson honoured the 18,500 Maori and Pakeha who did not return from World War I.

He also spent part of the day in Kaikoura, and was ultra-complimentary about the wintery New Zealand landscape, his first sighting coming from the air en route.

He called New Zealand "The most mind blowingly and mind numbingly beautiful country."

He gave Te Reo a go, and tasted some kaimoana.

His assessment of Maori culture came with a typical Boris analogy, referring to a Glasglow Kiss - which is slang for a headbutt.

"Thank you for teaching me the hongi, which is a lovely way to introduce yourself, though it may be misinterpreted at a pub in Glasgow."

He was ultra-diplomatic about the increasing negative treatment Kiwis are getting in the United Kingdom, with fears that rights to live and work there are slowly being eroded.

"I'm a great believer in making sure that talented people, energetic people who come to our country should be able to do so, provided it's controlled and it's done in a democratic way."

Following Brexit a strengthening of trade ties is needed - and a free trade deal will be discussed when he meets the Prime Minister tomorrow.

"New Zealand is a major exporter to the UK we have a fantastic relationship and we want to build on it," says Boris Johnson.

A relationship with a past and a future.