New Zealand Maori welcome for Harry

Published: Saturday 9th May 2015 by The News Editor

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Prince Harry has received a traditional Maori welcome upon landing in New Zealand for his week-long tour.

The Prince jetted in fresh from a stint in Australia, during which he trained with the country’s armed forces and was mobbed during a farewell walkabout in the shadow of the famous Sydney Opera House.

New Zealand prime minister John Key greeted him as he landed in Wellington, tweeting: “Great to welcome Prince Harry to New Zealand on a brilliant Wellington day.”

Kensington Palace tweeted: “Prince Harry is officially welcomed to NewZealand by johnkeypm and GovGeneralNZ at Government House.”

The palace also tweeted a picture of the Prince watching a powhiri – a Maori welcoming ritual – followed by a haka before he met schoolchildren.

The Prince feigned surprise when some told him they did not play rugby, according to The Associated Press.

“I thought you would be forced to play rugby,” he said. “That’s why you have such a good rugby team isn’t it?”

He told them most Royal Family members were Arsenal-supporting football fans.

Harry also visited the National War Memorial Park and paid his respects at its Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, the Twitter feed of New Zealand governor general Sir Jerry Mateparae said.

Harry is due to watch a rugby game later today between Wellington’s Hurricanes and South Africa’s Durban-based Sharks.

It comes after footage released by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) depicted the Prince, known as Captain Wales in the armed forces, as an all-action hero following his month-long attachment in the country.

He is shown abseiling from a helicopter with 2nd Commando Regiment soldiers in an urban warfare drill in Sydney, as well as taking part in counter-terror training in the city’s famous harbour with Royal Australian Navy divers.

As well as his combat training, Harry also met wounded and injured Australian soldiers and spent two weeks in the Northern Territory which included meeting the local indigenous community.

Published: Saturday 9th May 2015 by The News Editor

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