New Zealand PM cancels trip
ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key cancelled a trip to Argentina yesterday after a powerful 7.8 earthquake rocked his South Pacific nation, but still hopes to attend an APEC summit in Peru.
Mr Key was scheduled to travel to Buenos Aires today on a trade mission but said he wanted to stay at home until the scale of the quake’s destruction was known.
“The situation is still unfolding and we don’t yet know the full extent of the damage,” said the New Zealand leader, who has confirmed at least two quakerelated deaths.
“I believe it is better that I remain in New Zealand in the coming days to offer my assistance and support until we have a better understanding of the event’s full impact.”
New Zealand officials have apologised to their Argentinian counterparts and Mr Key said he would personally call President Mauricio Macri to explain the situation.
He added that he would still attend the November 19-20 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Lima “if circumstances permit”–