Prime Minister John Key hasn't been able to specifically raise issues around women's rights in Saudi Arabia, but says he did raise the issue of wider human rights when he met with the country's king.
Mr Key believes his visit, a first by a New Zealand prime minister, means there's a good chance of convincing Saudi Arabia to back a valuable free trade deal with Gulf states.
The red carpet was rolled out for the Prime Minister and his business delegation as soon as they arrived.
After walking across the airport runway, Mr Key sat down to meet with His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Naif, widely expected to one day be king.
Later in the day Mr Key met with the current king, His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
"I think we got a pretty positive response ... I can't categorically say that means we'll get the free trade agreement over the line."
Nonetheless, Mr Key said coming to Saudi Arabia was a good thing to have done.
"I think it's the best thing we can do to get the next step forward, I mean you always have to take a bit of a risk ... sitting back in New Zealand certainly won't get us over the line and this might."
Mr Key had promised to raise human and women's rights when in Saudi Arabia. Opposition MPs including Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei have said Mr Key had a duty to raise concerns about human rights abuses including lashings of women who had been raped.
Mr Key said he was only able to raise wider human rights issues and not women's rights specifically.
"I think that's the appropriate way to handle it; our foreign ministry also has much more detailed conversations, they have longer periods of time."
Mr Key later met with His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed bin Talal - an investor whose company Kingdom Holdings is worth billions.
It has stakes in The Four Seasons, Twitter, Apple, Motorola, News Corporation and Time Warner.
The pair spoke for more than an hour almost 70 floors above Riyadh about tourism, students, security and investments.
When asked about reports of human rights issues from international media, the prince said he had no doubt that some media exaggerated human rights "procedures" in Saudi Arabia.
He then ended his talk with New Zealand reporters.
Mr Key remains hopeful that Saudi Arabia, which is the hurdle in passing a free trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council members, can be convinced.
Mr Key and his 18-member delegation next head to Kuwait - the final stage of their trade tour to the Gulf states.