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British Foreign Secretary to visit New Zealand

British Foreign Secretary William Hague will visit New Zealand next week, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully announced today.

“I look forward to welcoming Mr Hague to New Zealand for the second time in two years,” he says.

Mr McCully and Mr Hague will hold formal bilateral talks in Auckland on Tuesday.

“This is an excellent opportunity to address critical foreign policy issues with a close and valued partner, and explore new ways to work together on bilateral and global issues,” Mr McCully says.

“I expect the situation in Iran and Syria, the Middle East Peace Process and developments in Afghanistan will feature in our discussions, as will regional issues such as Fiji and Myanmar.”

While in Auckland, Mr Hague will meet New Zealand business leaders and entrepreneurs, young Pacific leaders, academics and NGOs.

He will also visit Christchurch for a tour of the red zone and to lay a wreath at HMNZS Pegasus naval base in honour of New Zealand service men and women.

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Comments and questions

Don't mention the war .... or the EU?

Two times in two years! What do they want? They (cabinet members of the British govt) never come here. They're all happy, happy, joy, joy, Europeans now. I'm deeply suspicious.

They actually want to distance themselves from Europe. Hence the visit and the renewed emphasis on the UK, Canada, Aust and NZ relationships.

Probably looking to determine wether or not the old "home country" trade agreements of the 1940/50s era can be resurrected, in case the UK is thrown out of the EU. After all, they will need to buy their butter, cheese and lamb from someone.

Last junket before getting voted out.

Why isn't there a free trade agreement among the members of the old Commonwealth, that eventually, all members of the Commonwealth could sign up to with the passage of time?

Maybe at last the Poms have finally come to realise the folly of abandoning the "Empire" which made them "Great".

Abandoned to marry a bunch of peoples with whom they have fought for more than 2000 years.

In believing their future lay with those across the channel rather than those across the world who made them rich and powerful.

The "Empire" was based on economic mutual dependence achieved though the colonies supplying the "mother country" with food and resources and then taking British engineered and manufactured products in return.

The ideal dream economic machine trading bloc.

Hello, has the light come on again?

Perhaps they are asking NZ to increase our Asian piracy patrols so they can keep an extra frigate or destroyer in the South Atlantic where the Argies are agitating over the Falklands?

The Argentinians have much less military capability to do anything about the Falklands than they did in 1982. All they can do is whine about it (and the government mostly does so to distract the populace from the lousy job they're doing of running Argentina).

Just cause they can't get it back by force doesn't mean it is any less stolen land.

Quite right. When Pope Alexander VI split the ownership of the entire world between Portugal and Spain in the 1694 Treaty of Tordesillas he obviously meant for the Falklands to go to Spain and her successors. Or do you have a better Argentinian claim?

I think its more likewhat China will do to NZ in the next few months.
Just be thankful our oil isn't good value. We would all be fugged.

Anyone know the last time a British prime minister visited NZ in a formal, official visit? Was it the 1950s?

Viva la Republique?

Business community won't be lining up to hear his insights on finance/banking/trade/whatever. These Brits really are past having any real meaning!

I wonder if any reporter will have the courage to go after Hague about his government's campaign of black propaganda against Julian Assange, and its failed attempt to intimidate the state of Ecuador.

I doubt any politicians will push him on this, but one lives in hope...

Assange should be tried as a traitor, nothing less.