15 Jan 2011

Immigration on agenda during UK ministers' visit

1:41 pm on 15 January 2011

Afganistan, immigration and the impact of Britain's controversial departure tax will be on the agenda when two high-ranking British MPs visit New Zealand next week.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defence Secretary Liam Fox arrive in Auckland on Thursday for two days of talks with their counterparts here.

Prime Minister John Key says the UK is an important destination for young New Zealanders to go and get work experience, so immigration will be one area of discussion.

The British ministers will be accompanied on the two-day visit by the Chief of Defence, General Sir David Richards.

New Zealand's Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says the two countries have close security ties and share a similar view about many international challenges.

The ministers will arrive on 20 January and will take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Auckland war memorial before a formal reception hosted by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

Meanwhile, Mr Key says he plans to visit the United Kingdom in the next couple of months.

He says he hasn't yet received an invitation to attend the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April, but will go if invited.