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Key praises Aussie mateship post quake

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/11/2016 Lisa Martin

© Mariana Bazo/Reuters New Zealand's prime minister has saluted Australia's mateship after last week's deadly earthquake.

Two people died after a massive 7.5 magnitude quake struck the South Island, sparking a tsunami warning and rattling the country with more than 250 aftershocks.

Prime Minister John Key expressed immense gratitude for Australia's disaster assistance.

Australia sent HMAS Darwin and another warship and helicopters to help with the earthquake recovery.

"It's a living example of how great mates New Zealand and Australia are," Mr Key told reporters in Lima on Saturday night (Peru time).

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was the first leader on the phone offering a helping hand to Mr Key after the disaster.

"We're supporting each other as we always do," Mr Turnbull said.

The pair caught up ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit gala dinner.

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