WATCH: Bill English’s first Waitangi Day as Prime Minister
Prime Minister Bill English arrived in Wellington in time for the Governor General’s Bledisloe Garden reception after earlier celebrating Waitangi Day at Auckland’s Orakei Marae.
The annual visit of the Prime Minister to Te Tii Marae’s powhiri was cancelled after English was told he would be unable to speak at the event.
English and wife Mary were among 2000 in attendance, including diplomats, invited guests and member of the public who won a ticket via a ballot to attend the annual function.
The Prime Minister was popular among the crowd with a constant ring of people surrounding him waiting for a chance to meet and greet and snap a picture.
Earlier in the day Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy hosted a ceremony where 24 people representing 17 countries became the latest New Zealand citizens.