28 Oct '11, 5am

NZ PM John Key snubs Queen Elizabeth for hobbits, visits The Hobbit movie set instead of queen's opening of summit

NZ PM John Key snubs Queen Elizabeth for hobbits, visits The Hobbit movie set instead of queen's opening of summit

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. -- PHOTO: AFP PERTH, Australia (AFP) - New Zealand premier John Key opted not to attend Queen Elizabeth II's official opening of a Commonwealth leaders summit in Perth on Friday, preferring instead to visit The Hobbit movie set. Mr Key, who will contest a general election on Nov 26, chose not to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Western Australia as his campaign for a second term intensifies. On the same day the queen opened the 54-nation bloc's meeting, Mr Key was visiting the set of Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson's latest Tolkien epic The Hobbit in Matamata on New Zealand's North Island. Mr Key, who sent Foreign Minister Murray McCully to represent him in Perth, amended his country's labour laws last year after Jackson and Hollywood studio chiefs threatened to move the production offshore over a disp...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Lifestyle/Story/...

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