UK minister holds top-level defence talks in Wellington

Hugo Swire will also see the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and inspect the site for a British war memorial.

A British Foreign Office Minister is visiting New Zealand in the first top-level meeting since Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond was here a year ago.

Hugo Swire, Minister of State for Asia-Pacific, will hold talks with Foreign Minister Murray McCully, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and Climate Change and State Services Minister Paula Bennett.

He will also address business leaders at a Trans-Tasman Circle function and discuss the UK’s expertise in infrastructure, innovation and Smart Cities in a roundtable with the regional “metro mayors.”

While in Wellington, Mr Swire will lay a wreath at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park and visit the site of the proposed UK memorial there.

At Weta Workshops, he will inspect design and engineering plans for the UK memorial and also visit the Great War Exhibition, designed by Sir Peter Jackson.

Mr Swire will attend the opening night on Friday of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Wellington before visiting Christchurch to meet Mayor Lianne Dalziel to hear about the rebuild on the eve of the five-year anniversary of the February 22, 2011, earthquake.

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