Former US President, Barack Obama, is visiting New Zealand for 2 days. Yesterday and again this morning, he played golf with former New Zealand Prime Minister, Sir John Key. The two of them had played golf together several times in Hawaii where they both have a holiday house. Yesterday they travelled by helicopter to a private golf course in Northland. They stayed overnight at a luxury hotel in Northland and this morning played golf again, this time at another private golf course.
This afternoon was a powhiri to welcome him formally at Government House in Auckland. He seemed to enjoy the Maori cultural welcome. Then he met and talked with our current Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after the welcome. This evening is a dinner for about 1000 invited guests in Auckland. Obama will give a speech there.
Hundreds of people waited outside the Viaduct Basin venue to see him as he arrived this evening, but they were disappointed. He was in a car with tinted windows and got out of the car behind a fence where nobody could see him.
This is not an official visit. Obama said that he had wanted to come to New Zealand for a long time but was unable to fit it into his busy schedule while he was president. He is here on a private visit, but the New Zealand police provided security along with his own bodyguards.
He leaves for Sydney in the morning.
tinted windows – not clear glass, a dark colour