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U2 confirm NZ November tour

Published: 8:28PM Monday March 13, 2006 Source: RNZ/AAP

The promoters for the Irish rock band U2 have confirmed they are to tour New Zealand in November.

The band had previously postponed their Auckland Vertigo Tour concerts indefinitely because a family member of one of the band was ill.

The promoters say they cannot confirm any concert dates but say they expect to  release them in a couple of days.

It is believed the band's shock decision to postpone the Australian, New Zealand and Japanese leg of their tour was due to U2's guitarist, the Edge, having a seriously ill child.

"I can't really get into details why," Bono told Enough Rope presenter Andrew Denton.

"There was a lot of distress and angst and (the) good news is... I can announce we are coming back, looks like November and that's a great relief for me."

Bono, who arrived in Australia last week with his wife Ali Hewson and their sons Elijah, six, and John, four, admitted he was happy the gigs had been rescheduled.

"I didn't want to leave Australia without having that hammered down," he said.

"But (we are) just about that much away from being able to give you the dates so maybe even tomorrow I'll be able to do that."

While Bono remained tightlipped on which band member caused the postponement, he revealed that after 25 years together they were all there for each other.

"Our music does come out of (a) very tight community and so if one of us is going through it we're all going through it," he said.

"He will be at the other side of it .... and god willing it will be a very positive outcome.

"We've all been through different ups and downs, and you've got to give yourself freedom within a band ... to get out of each other's way as well as to get in somebody's face at the right time. Sometimes you have to know when not to. This is one of those moments."

The political activist also admitted he would seek a meeting with Prime Minister John Howard when he returns to Australia. He wishes to discuss Australia increasing its foreign aid to poor nations.

However, a meeting is yet to be scheduled.

"I'd like to when I get back (talk with Howard)," he told Denton.

"We have a spotlight on us (celebrities), so might as well use it. We're actually starting to get access (to politicians) because we represent a lot of people."

Ironically, the only other time U2 has had to postpone part of a tour was in Sydney in the late 1980s, where they postponed three dates.