• Jim Bolger
Prime Minister

Prime Minister Jim Bolger today had a private audience with Her Majesty The Queen in which he personally conveyed the sympathy of all New Zealanders over the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

"Her Majesty and I had a wide ranging discussion, which included issues expected to arise at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

"As one of her Commonwealth Prime Ministers, I offered her my perspective on the CHOGM and questions, such as Nigeria, Good Governance and trade and economic reform."

Mr Bolger is in London as part of his preparation for the CHOGM in Edinburgh later this week.

Earlier in the day, Mr Bolger and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh formally launched the Duke of Edinburgh Awards International Forum at a special function.

Both Prince Philip and His Royal Highness The Prince Edward will attend the Forum which begins in Wellington next week.

Mr Bolger said it was a pleasure and an honour for New Zealand to be hosting the triennial Forum.

He congratulated the Award for its investment in the potential of youth and their capacity to develop and contribute to societies around the world.

"The Duke of Edinburgh Award invests, not in the problems of youth, but in their promise, potential and capability to contribute to society.

"With more than 20,000 young New Zealanders currently involved in community service and personal development, the Award scheme is, in all senses, a trail blazer in building tomorrow's citizens today," Mr Bolger said.

The Award scheme currently runs in 59 countries, including the Commonwealth and countries as diverse as the United States, the Netherlands, Portugal, Indonesia and Jordan.

Later tonight (NZ time), Mr Bolger will meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott before leaving for Edinburgh and CHOGM.