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Wednesday, July 21

PM to kick off All Whites' homecoming parade

Prime Minister and All Whites' FIFA World Cup campaign patron, John Key, will kick off today's civic parade for the team as it departs from Parliament.

Mr Key will wave the team off at 12.30pm before joining the All Whites at the parade's end at Civic Square.

"The All Whites' World Cup campaign had the whole country enthralled - not just because they were playing in only their second-ever World Cup, but because they played beyond all expectations," says Mr Key.

"Every game they played was gripping. The team's ability to match it with the giants of the football world was one of the most talked-about aspects of the tournament, and they have done an enormous amount to boost New Zealand's global reputation and profile."

Mr Key says the parade is New Zealand's chance to thank the team for their top-class efforts.

"The All Whites came out as the only unbeaten team at the tournament, which is remarkable. I'm delighted so many All Whites will be able to get among the fans tomorrow and experience first-hand their enthusiasm and passion."

In addition to a number of non-Wellington based All Whites, members of the Wellington Phoenix and the Boca Juniors will also be on parade ahead of Friday night's friendly.

"I'm sure Wellington's football fans will be out in force to see some of New Zealand's and Argentina's top-flight players - it will be a parade to remember," says Mr Key.