Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders visits New Zealand

Didier Reynders arrives in New Zealand today and leaves on Saturday. Photo / AP
Didier Reynders arrives in New Zealand today and leaves on Saturday. Photo / AP

Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister is in New Zealand for a four-day visit that includes discussions on a free trade agreement, a visit to Waitangi, and Tintin.

Didier Reynders, also his country's Minister for Foreign Affairs, arrives in the country today and leaves on Saturday.

He will meet Foreign Minister Murray McCully during a working lunch, and the pair will also visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

In Wellington, Reynders will take part in a blessing ceremony of the site for the Belgian memorial at the Pukeahu National Memorial Park, where he will unveil a plaque and lay a wreath.

He will also present to New Zealand authorities details of a memorial project proposed by Belgium.

Trade Minister Todd McClay will also meet Reynders, including for a bilateral working lunch to discuss prospects for a free trade agreement between NZ and the European Union.

The EU is going through formalities required to start free trade talks which are expected to be launched within a year, with a potential two-year negotiation.

Reynders will also visit Te Papa and the Weta Workshop, the latter having produced The Adventures of Tintin movie, about the famous character created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé.

- NZ Herald

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