Prime Minister John Key arrived to a sea of noisy blue chatter as the students of Havelock North Primary school welcomed him to Hawke's Bay.

Mr Key took his time as he made his way along the footpath, lined by excited children, leading to the Magdalinos Room at the village's Conference Centre this morning.

Flanked by Tukituki MP Craig Foss, the Prime Minister stopped to talk to some of the youngest Bay residents, shake hands and sign autographs before he asked the students to sing Happy Birthday to one of his advisers.

The kids happily obliged with a rousing chorus of the celebratory tune before asking the children how long they had been waiting - to which "hours" and "for years" were just a couple of the answers given.


Mr Key met up with Local Government New Zealand President and Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule and his wife Kerryn and headed into the Centre to the morning tea on offer.

Mr Key said it was great to be back in the Bay, but his visit was not long enough.
"It never is," he said.

Havelock North Primary school Principal Nick Reed acknowledged there had been localised discussion around the students attendence at the event being a "National-Labour, a political thing".

However, he said it was not about this at all, but rather about celebrating the fact that the Prime Minister of the New Zealand was here in the Bay.

"Which for us is fantastic," he said.

"It's a great opportunity to see the Prime Minister of the country. I think they will get some long lasting memories, they will look back on this day as being really special,"
"They were pretty upbeat about it they were very excited naturally, and we had a number of parents who came down who were equally as excited as well."

Mr Foss said the Prime Minister wanted to come to Hawke's Bay, publically his second time this year, again so he invited him.

"It's a huge visit, [for him] have a look at awesome Hawke's Bay Tukituki," he said.
Mr Yule said of his attendance at the function was that it was something he always did.
"It is a way of welcoming them," he said.

"I have done it with all Prime Ministers including Helen Clark."

After the one hour and 15 minute long morning tea, where people who paid $15, had the opportunity, according to the invite, to "discuss what's important in our community", Mr Key left to visit Hastings Boy's High School.