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Mysterious US visitor in Wellington

Monday 3 Dec 2012 6:55 p.m.

Two US Air Force planes were on the tarmac at Wellington Airport a few days ago (Photo: Twitter/Heather du Plessis-Allan)

Two US Air Force planes were on the tarmac at Wellington Airport a few days ago (Photo: Twitter/Heather du Plessis-Allan)

A high-ranking United States intelligence official visited New Zealand last week but Prime Minister John Key isn't saying why, except it was for "a meeting".

He was asked at his post-cabinet press conference today why two US Air Force planes were on the tarmac at Wellington Airport a few days ago.

Mr Key says one carried an official who was going to Antarctica from Christchurch and the other official came to visit an intelligence agency in Wellington.

"I don't know the person's name or which US agency they were from, they were here for a meeting," he said.

"It was an official-level meeting. We have partners around the world and from time to time they visit."

Mr Key denies the visit was secret.

"If it was, you wouldn't park a US plane at Wellington Airport in full view."

New Zealand is a member of Echelon, the intelligence communications alliance which includes the US, Britain, Australia and Canada.

NZN

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