(dpa) - A group of New Zealand political leaders was scheduled to arrive in Warsaw on Monday at the start of an official three-country European tour to represent their country and its parliament.
Four of the five Members of Parliament are retiring at this year's general election and the fifth is deputy leader of a party that opinion polls indicate is unlikely to survive.
One of them, Brian Connell, has long been ostracised by his party and has not spoken in parliament for more than 18 months.
The 10-day visit to Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary has been dubbed a "last hurrah" for the retiring legislators, who include Marian Hobbs, of the ruling Labour Party, who said last month that she did not know what it was about, but it sounded "lovely."
Officially known as the annual Speaker's tour, it is led by the speaker of the House of Representatives, Margaret Wilson, who is quitting politics to return to university life as a professor.
Katherine Rich, like Connell, a member of the opposition National Party, is retiring to look after her children and party leaders said that it made no sense to send members who should be campaigning for the election, even though it is not due until November.
The only member who has not announced his retirement is Peter Brown, deputy leader of the nationalist New Zealand First party, but opinion polls currently give him little chance of re-election.
Wilson has said the purpose of the tour is to build relationships with other parliaments and to explore opportunities for economic and cultural exchanges.
The New Zealand party will be in Warsaw Monday and Tuesday when it goes to Krakow to visit the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
It will be in Prague from Wednesday to Friday and Budapest on April 28-30.