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Harry and Meghan receive traditional Maori welcome in New Zealand

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have received a traditional Maori welcome on their arrival in New Zealand.

The nation of 4.8 million is the final stop on the couple’s busy 16-day tour of Australia and the Pacific.

They arrived in Wellington on a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane alongside members of the country’s Invictus athletes, the sporting event founded by Prince Harry for wounded military veterans.

They were greeted by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attend a welcome ceremony at Government House in Wellington, New Zealand, October 28, 2018
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This is Meghan’s first visit to New Zealand as a royal
Maori warriors at an official welcome ceremony at Government House in Wellington, on the first day of the royal couple's tour of New Zealand
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The royal couple’s official welcome was at Wellington’s Government House

At Government House they were welcomed with a powhiri, which involves singing, dancing and finally a hongi – pressing of noses with Maori elders.

They were also treated to a haka from members of the New Zealand Defence Force and a 21-gun salute.

Members of the public presented the couple with gifts, including a Buzzy-Bee – a toy that has been part of the lives of New Zealand children for almost 75 years.

Pictures of Harry’s brother, the Duke of Cambridge, playing with the toy during the visit of the Prince of Wales and Diana in 1983 made front pages around the world.

Meghan, who is expecting the couple’s first child in the spring, wore an ASOS maternity wear dress and a trench coat by New Zealand designer Karen Walker.

After laying a wreath at the new UK war memorial at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, the royal couple attended a reception hosted by Governor-General Patsy Reddy celebrating 125 years since New Zealand women were given the right to vote.

Britain's Prince Harry (C) and his wife Meghan (R), the Duchess of Sussex, meet with New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) during a visit to Government House in Wellington on October 28, 2018
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Meeting New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

The Duchess of Sussex spoke at the event, saying: “The achievements of the women of New Zealand who campaigned for their right to vote and were the first in the world to achieve it, are universally admired.

“In looking forward to this very special occasion, I reflected on the importance of this achievement, but also the larger impact of what this symbolises.

“Because yes, women’s suffrage is about feminism, but feminism is about fairness.

“Suffrage is not simply about the right to vote but also about what that represents: the basic and fundamental human right of being able to participate in the choices for your future and that of your community, the involvement and voice that allows you to be a part of the very world that you are a part of.”



Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend XXX on October 19, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their official 16-day Autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.




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During the next three days in New Zealand, Harry and Meghan will enjoy a hike and barbecue at Abel Tasman National Park in the South Island, a reception with Ms Ardern at Auckland’s War Memorial Museum and a visit to the North Island tourist resort of Rotorua.

They will leave New Zealand on Thursday.

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