New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Wednesday postponed an official visit to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, and announced a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Hercules transport aircraft would help with relief efforts. "A visit next week would place undue pressure on the Philippines government at a critical time of the relief and recovery phase," Key said in a statement. "An RNZAF C-130 Hercules carrying emergency supplies will depart New Zealand tomorrow for the Philippines. The aircraft will remain in the area for at least four to five days to provide transport support to relief efforts as required." New Zealand will also launch an initiative valued at 2.3 million NZ dollars (1.89 million U.S. dollars) with the Philippines Red Cross to bolster disaster relief supplies for future events. "Pre-positioning supplies at various locations around the country will mean that relief items can get to affected communities without delay," said Key. The initiative was in addition to the 2.15 million NZ dollars already pledged by New Zealand. "We are continuing to monitor the situation closely, and will work with the Philippines government to meet any further requests for assistance." Key had been scheduled to lead a New Zealand business delegation on a two-day visit to Manila of his return from a trade mission to Thailand next week.