New Zealand PM greets Shah Rukh Khan in Auckland

Auckland: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who is here on his Temptation Reloaded tour, was greeted by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key here Thursday night.

Shah Rukh was given a traditional Maori welcome and presented with an official New Zealand Black Caps cricket shirt in recognition of his love of the game, read a statement. John Key also holds the tourism portfolio.

The Bollywood `baadshah` thanked his hosts for the warm New Zealand welcome and talked warmly of his previous visit to the country around 12 years ago. He said his son would be thrilled with the Black Caps shirt, as he is a big fan.

Meanwhile, SRK is kicked about Limelight Entertainment`s Temptation Reloaded, as part of which stars like Madhuri Dixit, Rani Mukerji, Jacqueline Fernandez, Yo Yo Honey Singh and Meiyang Chang will join him on stage Friday.

Key also welcomed Shah Rukh`s interest in New Zealand as a potential film location.

New Zealand and India have a co-production agreement and in recent years two Indian productions, ‘I Hate Luv Storys’ and ‘Players’ have been filmed in the country.

The prime minister also invited all Indian cricket fans to travel to New Zealand in January-February 2014 when the Indian national team is touring the country, and again in 2015 for the Cricket World Cup 2015.

Currently, New Zealand welcomes around 30,000 visitors from India each year. Tourism New Zealand`s target is to increase this to 50,000 by 2016. It has identified India as an emerging tourism market that offers significant growth potential.

Tourism New Zealand has also identified the potential for increasing visitor arrivals from India if Bollywood was to again use the country`s landscapes as the backdrop to their blockbuster films.