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Foreign secretary Boris Johnson is in New Zealand to meet with the country's prime minister and discuss ties post-Brexit

On a trip to New Zealand, the British foreign secretary Boris Johnson referred to a traditional Maori greeting where people rub their noses as something that "could be misinterpreted in a pub in Glasgow".

Johnson made to joke to describe the 'hongi' which is a very formal greeting, often used as ceremonies, whereby one person presses one's nose and forehead against the forehead of the other person.

After a visit to a Maori meeting place known as a marae in Kaikoura, a South Island town often frequented by tourists and the scene of an earthquake in November 2016, he was given the traditional greeting.

He started by saying and correctly pronouncing "Tena koutou" which is a greeting to a group of people.

He went on to say: "This is the first time I have been in New Zealand and of course I am discovering that there are some things we have in common with this wonderful place and with the marae, of course a tradition of strong female leadership.

"Thank you for teaching me the 'hongi', which I think it is a beautiful form of introduction though it might be misinterpreted in a pub in Glasgow, if you were to try it," he said, to laughter on Monday (24 July).

Earlier in July, the foreign secretary told the EU to "go whistle" over plans to stick the UK with a €100bn (£88bn) divorce bill.

Johnson said that there should be easier migration between New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He will meet with the prime minister, Bill English, the leader of New Zealand's Labour Party, Andrew Little and attend the dedication of a UK war memorial in the Kiwi capital.

The visit is seen in New Zealand as an opportunity to strengthen ties between the countries, especially in light of Britain's upcoming exit from the European Union.