Latest updates: Prince William on the West Coast

Follow Prince William's movements as he travels through quake-hit Christchurch and meets the Pike River victims' families in Greymouth today.

Prince William talks to Dean Peter Beck and a USAR official outside the Christchurch Cathedral. Photo / Fairfax
Prince William talks to Dean Peter Beck and a USAR official outside the Christchurch Cathedral. Photo / Fairfax
6.13pm
That concludes our latest updates.
5.55pm
Prime Minister John Key said he was delighted when he got word of the Prince's visit. "It speaks volumes about Prince William and the future king he will be. "

Mr Key said Pike River was a tremendous tragedy and he thanked the families of the miners for supporting their neighbours in Canterbury.

"We want you to know and be sure we will never forget the men at Pike River and the amazing contribution they made."

5.50pm
Mr Kokshoorn donned his mayoral chains before leading Prince William through the village to a building called the miners' hall. He said he was humbled that the Prince made time in his busy schedule to visit Greymouth.

"We are really humbled you have extended your hand to us... to come and help the families grieve."

5.46pm
Pike River mine CEO Peter Whittall has also arrived at Shantytown with his wife, as has NZ Mine Rescue general manager Trevor Watts.
5.27pm
Prince William has arrived in Greymouth to meet the families of the 29 victims of the Pike River mine disaster.

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn welcomed the Prince to the region and he and Prime Minister John Key both thanked him for coming to New Zealand.

Mr Kokshoorn said he appreciated the Prince's compassion and acknowledged his own loss of his mother, Princess Diana.

Mr Key thanked the Prince for making the trip to a country having "a really terrible time".

Media were then ushered out as the Prince met with the victims' families, starting with the family of blast survivor Daniel Rockhouse.

Neville Rockhouse, who was Pike River's safety and training manager, was the first to shake the Prince's hand.

4.47pm
The Prince has landed and will arrive at Shantytown in 15 minutes. The families are assembling inside.

4.27pm
Prince William's plane is due to land in five minutes.

4.23pm
Prince William's visit to Greymouth has been delayed due to bad weather.

He was due to arrive by plane from Christchurch at 4pm but is now expected at some time between 4.30 and 4.45pm.

Families of the 29 victims of the Pike River mine disaster and Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn have arrived at the Golden Nugget Hotel building in heritage attraction Shantytown, 10km south of Greymouth, to await the Prince's arrival.

The families waited in the rain to get their security passes. They seemed excited.

Mr Kokshoorn said he was told the Prince was prepared to land in Westport and drive to Greymouth if the weather prevented the plane from landing in Greymouth.

3.34pm
Prince William's tour of Christchurch's Red Zone is now over. The Prince will now travel to Greymouth, where he will meet the victims of the Pike River mining disaster.

Rescue workers were impressed with the Prince, who asked many of them about their experiences over the past week.

He told one member of USAR: "There was a lot of us who work in the military who were gnashing their teeth to come out here."

3.20pm
An alarm went off in the fire station as the Prince was meeting firefighters. Some staff immediately left the station to attend an incident.
2.48pm
Press reporter Keith Lynch spoke to Prince William and outlined what had happened inside his Christchurch newsroom during the quake. The prince asked how staff had managed to get out of the building, in Cathedral Square, and passed on his condolences in regards to a colleague who died inside.
2.19pm
Prince William, from Latimer Square, said: "The scale of it is unbelievable".
2.05pm
Prince William spent a short time at Cathedral Square speaking to Dean Peter Beck and a USAR official about the damage.

He is now travelling to Latimer Square.

1.55pm
Prince William has entered the "red zone", the worst hit area of Christchurch's CBD.

1.48pm
Shocking weather awaits the prince in Greymouth, where he is expected to arrive at 4pm to visit families of the victims of the Pike River tragedy. It is raining heavily, windy and there is low cloud, say reporters there.
1.36pm
Prince William is now at the welfare centre in the art gallery talking about the systems that have been put in place since the earthquake.
1.32pm
Prince William is to tour the city this afternoon before going to Greymouth on the West Coast to visit families of the 29 men killed in the Pike River coal mine explosion on the West Coast.

He will attend a memorial service for victims of the Christchurch earthquake in the city tomorrow.

He arrived in Auckland about 8am today and met Mayor Len Brown before flying to Christchurch.

He is due to leave Wellington on Saturday for Australia where he will tour some of recently heavily flood-damaged areas.

1.27pm
Prince William is posing for photos with Civil Defence workers.
12.58pm
The prince is being shown through the headquarters where rapid response teams, the Earthquake Commission and the Christchurch City Council have been working since the disaster.

Workers in other parts of the building continue but many wait expectedly for him to move towards them.

12.55pm
A large crowd of local and international media had gathered at the art gallery for Prince William's arrival.
12.45pm:
Prince William has arrived at the Civil Defence headquarters at the Christchurch Art Gallery, accompanied by Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

He was welcomed by Mayor Bob Parker and Civil Defence head John Hamilton and has been taken inside to a meeting with Civil Defence officials.

- NZ Herald staff

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