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A hongi? Don't try that in a Glasgow pub, Boris Johnson jokes

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Boris Johnson has moved on to New Zealand after an official visit to Japan (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Boris Johnson has moved on to New Zealand after an official visit to Japan (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Boris Johnson has moved on to New Zealand after an official visit to Japan (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Boris Johnson has joked that a traditional Maori greeting could be misinterpreted as a headbutt during a visit to the South Pacific nation.

The Foreign Secretary is visiting New Zealand for two days as Britain looks to strengthen its ties with the former colony amid a broader reshaping of its global relationships as it prepares to leave the European Union.

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

Mr Johnson thanked townsfolk for looking after tourists following the quake and for teaching him a Maori greeting called a hongi, in which people press noses together.

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

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