New Zealand Prime Minister John Key Called 'Unidentified Guest' by New York Daily Times

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By Reissa Su | December 12, 2013 3:27 PM EST

Despite leading the New Zealand delegation in Nelson Mandela's memorial service in South Africa, Prime Minister John Key was not recognised in a photo slideshow of the New York Daily News and was only named as an "unidentified guest".

In a photo that showed the Prime Minister Key laughing with British Prime Minister David Cameron, he remained an unknown personality to some in the United States. Photos showing the Vice President of China, Li Yuanchao, President Raul Castro of Cuba and Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US President Bill Clinton, were correctly identified by the New York Daily News.

Mr Key led New Zealand's delegation to South Africa to pay respects to anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.

The members of New Zealand's controversial delegation were initially declined to enter the event. Upon arrival at the stadium, Prime Minister Key was informed that only he and another delegate can enter. Inspired by Nelson Mandela's legacy of reconciliation and solidarity, Mr Key chose opposition leader Mr Cunliffe. In the end, all five members of the Kiwi delegation were allowed to enter.

The five members of New Zealand's delegation included former Prime Minister Jim Bolger and former Foreign Minister and Secretary General of the Commonwealth Sir Don McKinnon.

Nearly a hundred world leaders and thousands of South Africans have gathered in FNB stadium to pay their respects to anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela. The soccer stadium, which can hold 95,000 people, was where Mr Mandela made his last public appearance during the closing ceremonies of the World Cup 2010.

Prime Minister John Key was criticised for not having a prominent figure in his official delegation to Nelson Mandela's memorial service. Critics said he may have wasted a chance to reach out to some sectors of the voting public whom he hasn't won over yet.

The "unidentified" John Key was photographed rubbing shoulders with some of the most powerful people in the world in Johannesburg but apparently the people who wrote the caption were not so sure. The caption read:

"British Prime Minister David Cameron laughs with an unidentified guest as he attends the official memorial ceremony for late South African president Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa."

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