John Kerry coming into NZ from the cold

  • 05/11/2016
United States Secretary of State John Kerry (Reuters)
United States Secretary of State John Kerry (Reuters)

United States Secretary of State John Kerry will visit New Zealand next weekend following a visit to Antarctica.

Mr Kerry will be in Wellington for two days from Sunday and will meet with Prime Minister John Key and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

They will speak on "a range of bilateral and global issues," Mr Kerry's office says.

He will also participate in the dedication of the site of the United States Memorial and a wreath laying ceremony at New Zealand's National War Memorial Park.

Mr Kerry's Wellington stopover comes after a visit to US operations in Antarctica, where he will also visit the South Pole.

The visit to the ice, the first by a secretary of state, aims to draw attention to the decline in polar ice and its impact on sea levels. However, it may get little attention while most of the world will likely still be fixated on the results of Tuesday's presidential election, Associated Press reports.

Mr Kerry then flies on to visit Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and then the APEC meeting in Peru.

Mr McCully said the secretary of state's visit was a valuable opportunity to canvass positive developments in US-New Zealand relations.

"We will also discuss matters currently before the United Nations Security Council, in particular the plight of civilians in besieged areas of Syria."

Mr Kerry's visit won't coincide with the New Zealand navy's 75th anniversary celebrations later in the month - where the US is sending a warship into local waters for the first time in more than 30 years, following the decline in relations when anti-nuclear laws were adopted.