Boris Johnson: Maori greeting 'might be misinterpreted as a headbutt in a pub in Glasgow'

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Boris Johnson has joked that a traditional Maori greeting could be misinterpreted as a headbutt during a visit to New Zealand.

The Foreign Secretary is visiting the South Pacific nation for two days as Britain looks to strengthen ties as it reshapes its global relationships ahead of leaving the European Union.

Mr Johnson today visited the South Island town of Kaikoura, which was struck by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in November that killed two people.

He thanked townsfolk for teaching him a Maori greeting called a hongi, in which people press noses together.

Referring to a headbutt, Mr Johnson joked that the hongi “might be misinterpreted in a pub in Glasgow”.

But he added: “This is the most mind-blowingly, mind-numbingly beautiful country that I have ever seen.”

The Foreign Secretary also unveiled a British memorial at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.


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