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NZ Youth To Welcome State Visitors

Young New Zealanders representing the Pacific, will perform for the Presidents of the United States, China and South Korea on their arrival at Auckland airport at the beginning of their respective State visits, Prime Minister Jenny Shipley said today.

The official Maori welcome for all APEC Leaders (including the three Presidents), will be performed by Ngati Whatua, representing the tangata whenua, on Sunday 12 September. The Maori welcome will signal the start of the APEC Economic Leaders' meeting.

Mrs Shipley said 84 talented students from Auckland secondary schools had been chosen for the Pacific performance party for the three State visitors. They will perform items representing the Pacific cultures, including Maori, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Tokelau and Fiji.

"It will be a great way to demonstrate our ethnic and cultural diversity to the three Presidents.

"Twelve students each will perform brief items highlighting the Pacific cultures, as part of a unified, single performance for each Leader. It will be a great experience for them and I know the Presidents will appreciate the performance," the Prime Minister said.

The performers will form a line on opposite sides of the steps leading up to the door of the aircraft. They will perform as the Leader is greeted by the Prime Minister and escorted to their car.

"The performance by these fine young New Zealanders will come alongside other displays of talent from young Kiwis. These will include:

· the National Youth Choir, who will perform at the State Dinner for President Kim;

· the National Youth Orchestra, who will play at the APEC Leader's dinner on Sunday;

· Ngati Whatua Kohanga Reo, who will entertain the Leaders' spouses at Orakei Marae, Auckland;

· St Cuthbert's School Junior Choir, who will sing during the spouses visit to Puketutu Island; and

· De La Salle College, who will perform a Pacific welcome and farewell for the spouses during lunch at Kermadec Restaurant, Auckland," Mrs Shipley said.

ENDS

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