Prime Minister John Key joked on the Late Show with David Letterman that he will chauffeur Americans if they take up his offer to visit New Zealand in the next month.
Key has appeared on the popular TV chat show, giving the regular
and light-hearted top-10 segment a New Zealand flavour.
Among his offerings were that "New Zealand is a convenient 20-hour flight away" and "if you go in the next 30 days I'll pick you up at the airport personally".
He also told Letterman's audience of millions of viewers that "unlike the rest of the world, we like America".
Key said he and Letterman joked about the distance between the
US and New Zealand, with the talk-show host saying that New Zealand
was his favourite country that he has never visited.
Letterman has a fear of flying, but said he took a great interest in New Zealand.
Knowing Letterman was a motor-racing fan, Key presented him with a Indy 500 champion Scott Dixon T-shirt.
Speaking afterwards, the prime minister was humble about his comic turn.
"They've got their writers and they write the show. Some of the
humour wouldn't apply to a New Zealand audience."
Tourism NZ had pushed for a spot on the show so that Key, New Zealand's tourism minister, could push the country's profile.
It says the value of Key's appearance is hard to quantify, but if it was an advertising slot, it would be worth tens of millions of dollars.
John Key's top 10 reasons for visiting New Zealand
10. Auckland airport now has cinnabon (a chain of American baked goods stores and kiosks)
9. We have the loosest slot machines in the Pacific rim
8. It's only a convenient 20 hour flight away
7. It's like England, without the attitude
6. Leno's on at 9 o'clock
5. Get the whanau together, stay in a bach, crack open the chilly bin and slap on your jandals
4. Visit in the next 30 days and I'll pick you up at the airport
3. 70% of our energy is generated through renewable sources - They don't all have to be jokes
2. We drive on the left side of the road, like the British and Lindsay Lohan
1. Unlike most of the world, we still like Americans
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