25 Feb 2018

Obama visit confirmed for March

4:23 pm on 25 February 2018

It has been confirmed that the former US President Barack Obama will visit New Zealand in March.

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Barack Obama Photo: AFP / FILE

There has been speculation for weeks that Mr Obama was coming to New Zealand, and it has been announced he will speak at a New Zealand-United States Council event on 22 March.

"President Obama's presidency had an extraordinary impact on the world and during his service, New Zealand's deep friendship with the United States was strengthened politically, culturally, in trade and investment, innovation and security," council chairman Leon Grice said.

The New Zealand-United States Council is a not-for-profit dedicated to supporting and strengthening the two countries' bilateral relationship.

"We're going to make sure that there's a cross section of leadership across New Zealand that's there, from Māori business leaders, young leaders and also business people who are interested and invested in the New Zealand-US relationship," Mr Grice said.

Mr Obama will stay for three days and details about what he will be doing are being worked through now, Mr Grice said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed confirmation that Mr Obama will visit New Zealand saying she was looking forward to meeting him.

Air New Zealand is understood to be heavily involved in Mr Obama's visit.

Mr Obama was President of the US from 2009 to 2017.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to visit New Zealand in May, and will speak at an event in Auckland.

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