Former US President in NZ
Former US President, Barack Obama is in NZ.
Obama is set to experience the Māori culture with a formal pōwhiri at Government House today from Ngāti Whātua and later tonight, Māori chef Peter Gordon will be in charge of the banquet for the US NZ Forum which Obama will attend.
Also on his itinerary is a meeting with a group of Māori women, Wāhine Toa, on Friday.
The group includes Māori fashion designer Kiri Nathan who says it’s an opportunity they can each take back to their own communities.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to meet with President Barak Obama. With opportunity comes responsibility so it’s going to be great to take all that goodness and get out there and share it with our rangatahi and our young Māori girls and women.”
Nathan is a member of Wahine Toa, a group that was set up by ex-American ambassador Mark Gilbert's wife Nancy Gilbert.
“I have so much respect for Nancy Gilbert. Without Nancy, none of this would have happened. No matter what we have done or accolades that we carry this just simply would not have happened without her.”
Toa a group of 20 Māori women's role is to share their knowledge and skills with the younger generations.
They are the only group to get an intimate one on one meet and greet with Obama while he is here in NZ.