23 Mar 2018

Obama wraps up whirlwind NZ visit

12:48 pm on 23 March 2018

Barack Obama is wrapping up his whirlwind three-day visit to New Zealand.

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with former US President Barack Obama.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Barack Obama. Photo: Supplied

The former US President leaves the country this afternoon and heads to Australia, where he will meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

This morning, Mr Obama had brunch in Auckland with 20 members of the Wāhine Toa group.

One of the women, Deidre Otene, said Mr Obama may be a celebrity, but he came across as incredibly genuine and someone who is trying to make a change in the world.

They talked about his charitable Obama Foundation and what it is trying to achieve, she said.

Her excited group were going to another cafe to debrief, Ms Otene said.

The Wāhine Toa group was set up by Nancy Gilbert, whose husband Mark was the US ambassador to New Zealand for two years during Mr Obama's presidency.

While in New Zealand Mr Obama met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Government House in Auckland, spoke at an invite-only event organised by the New Zealand United States Council which was attended by about 800 people and played golf at the exclusive Tara Iti golf course, south of Whangārei.

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