Boris Johnson arrives in New Zealand

Eccentric UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson has arrived in Kaikōura via helicopter for his first official visit to New Zealand.

Mr Johnson, the flamboyant, blonde tousled-haired former mayor of London, will hold talks on trade, foreign policy and international security during his visit.

He will meet Prime Minister Bill English, Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee and other senior politicians. His agenda includes unveiling the UK War Memorial in Wellington's Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

Follow our live updates below as Boris takes on Aotearoa

5pm: Prime Minister Bill English is speaking to Mr Johnson on Tuesday, and said their discussions will include Brexit and improving access for Kiwis to the UK.

"It will be a chance to reaffirm our close historical relationship with the UK, to update ourselves on the challenges of Brexit and we anticipating a wider-ranging and interesting discussion."

"I'd stress we're practical, we understand the pressures they are under over the next few years to deal with very significant issues for their own citizens and European citizens, and we would expect that when the time comes we're able to talk to them directly in detail about our interests."

Mr Johnson will also meet with Labour leader Andrew Little and vpay a visit to Zealandia on Tuesday.

Boris Johnson laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown warrior.
Boris Johnson laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown warrior. Photo credit: Supplied

4pm: Boris Johnson says the memorial is "a gift from the people of Britain to the people of New Zealand."

The sculpture, a Pohutakawa tree merged with an oak tree, has been unveiled. 

3pm: After touching down in Wellington, Mr Johnson is heading to the Pukeahu War Memorial Park for the unveiling of an NZ-UK memorial.

The design was revealed in a virtual reality display at the British High Commission last week.

11am - A suggestion from Seymour 

ACT Party leader David Seymour has a suggested topic of conversation for Mr English and Mr Johnson when they meet later this afternoon - freedom of movement between New Zealand, Canada, the UK, Australia. 

Mr Seymour Tweeted a 2014 article in which Mr Johnson calls for greater freedom of movement between the Commonwealth countries.

10.35am - Johnson meets tourist operators

More sausage rolls are at the ready as Mr Johnson meets with Kaikōura's tourism operators.

Boris Johnson meets with tourism operators.
Boris Johnson meets with tourism operators. Photo credit: Supplied

Civil Defense Minister Nathan Guy tweeted it was a pleasure to show Mr Johnson around.

10.14am - 'Thank you, from the bottom of my heart'

Mr Johnson has thanked the people of Kaikōura for taking care of British tourists who were trapped after the November earthquake cut off the scenic coastal town.

"Many, many thanks. I've no doubt at all that because of the kindness and generousity that was shown by the people of this community, word is going to spread across the planet, and you are going to find more and more people who will want to come to this beautiful country," he said.

10.10am - Johnson says marae's strong female leadership similar to UK

Mr Johnson was welcomed onto Takahanga Marae with a pōwhiri on Monday morning.

"I'm discovering there are some things we have in common," Mr Johnson told the audience during an informal speech.

"On the marae, a tradition of strong female leadership, which we have," he said, to a smattering of laughs.

"There are many things that are different. Thank you for teaching me the hongi. I think it's a beautiful form of introduction, though it might be misinterpreted at a pub in Glasgow."

Mr Johnson said New Zealand is "the most mind-blowingly, mind-numbingly beautiful country that I've ever seen."

10am - Boris Johnson samples asparagus rolls in Kaikōura

Mr Johnson is in Kaikōura to thank the community for helping out Britons trapped in the town following last year's earthquake.

The kai included a wine glass of orange juice, asparagus rolls and club sandwiches all laid out on fern leaves, with a splash of colour from blue, red and white serviettes. 

Boris Johnson at morning tea with National Party MP for Kaikōura Stuart Smith.
Boris Johnson at morning tea with National Party MP for Kaikōura Stuart Smith. Photo credit: Supplied

"Britain and New Zealand share a long standing and historic friendship so I'm delighted to be here to see for myself how we work together on so many issues and how we can build on these links," Mr Johnson said in a statement released by the British High Commission in Wellington.

"Last year, the people of Kaikōura opened their homes and their hearts to British travellers who were in distress after the devastating earthquake, and I am pleased to be able to express personally our gratitude."

Mr Johnson will travel to Sydney later in the week.