Boris Johnson visits New Zealand

Boris Johnson is the British Foreign Secretary. He visited New Zealand for two days and has now left for Sydney.

While he was here, he unveiled the UK War Memorial in Wellington’s Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. It is a very large structure which is part a New Zealand Pohutukawa tree and part an English oak tree. It was designed and made by Weta Workshops in Wellington. Mr Johnson said it was a gift from the people of Britain to the people of New Zealand.

He had a helicopter ride to Kaikoura where he thanked the local people for looking after the British tourists who were trapped in Kaikoura after the earthquake last year. The roads and railway were badly damaged so tourists could not leave.

In a speech today, Mr Johnson said that New Zealanders should not worry about Brexit. The UK will still want to buy our meat and dairy products. Young people who travel to the UK on their OE will still be welcome. The special visa for Commonwealth countries will continue.


• unveiled – took the covers off it so that everyone could see it for the first time
• Pohutukawa – often called New Zealand’s Christmas tree because it flowers at that time of year and the flowers are bright red; it grows around the shore line in many parts of the country
• Weta Workshops – designed many parts of the characters in the Lord of the Rings movies
• Brexit – Britain exiting from the EU (Britain’s exit = Brexit)
• OE – Overseas Experience; many young people travel to the UK for a year or two on a special visa
• Commonwealth countries – they were part of the British Empire in the last century

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