5 Dec 2018

Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis to attend former US President George HW Bush's funeral

1:05 pm on 5 December 2018

Kelvin Davis will attend the funeral of the former US President George H. W. Bush on behalf of the New Zealand government.

The casket containing the remains of former United States President George H.W. Bush arrives at the US Capitol. Monday, December 3, 2018.

Members of the Bush family look on as the casket of President George H.W. Bush is placed in the Rotunda at the US Capitol. Photo: AFP / Ron Sachs / CNP

President Bush died at the weekend at the age of 94. His flag-draped casket is lying at the US Capitol Rotunda where ordinary Americans, generals and former cabinet members have been filing past to pay respects.

Mr Bush served as president from 1989 to 1993 and was notable for his foreign policy successes and an unpopular tax hike.

Mr Davis, government minister and Labour deputy leader, is in the United States for work related to his tourism portfolio and will extend his trip to attend the funeral in Washington, D.C.

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Then-US President George H.W. Bush holding a press conference at the White House in 1992. Photo: AFP

Mr Bush, who was born in 1924 in Milton, Massachusetts, was a World War II aviator and Texan oil tycoon before entering politics in 1964 as a Republican.

He was the father of former Republican president George W. Bush, who served two terms from 2001 to 2009, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who unsuccessfully sought the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Mr Bush will be remembered as a cultured family man, uncomfortable with the rough and tumble of politics.

"Because you run against each other that doesn't mean you're enemies," he once said. "Politics doesn't have to be uncivil and nasty."

The body of the one-term Republican president will lie in state until Wednesday, US time, when a state funeral is scheduled at the Washington National Cathedral.

After services in Washington, there will be another funeral in Houston on Thursday, followed by burial at the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis at the announcement.

Kelvin Davis will extend his trip to the US to attend the funeral Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

- RNZ / BBC / Reuters