Former US President Obama receives pōwhiri at Government House

Former US President Obama receives pōwhiri at Government House

As we have seen Barack Obama’s trip
has had a very Maori flavour but it doesn’t end there. Here to tell us more
is our reporter Irena Smith. Irena the press has gone crazy
over Obama’s visit, do you think it’s such a big deal? Absolutely. It’s amazing to see him,
such a famous person, visiting our country. We as Maori feature heavily
in his schedule, such as the powhiri happening
at the moment. All of that work. Aside from that, golf and entertainment
is also on the agenda. I think he’s so famous for us because of how he carried out
his work as the US President. He was a person who thought of everybody no matter
who or where they came from. It’s for these reasons
that he’s regarded as a chief. He also represents one aspect
of the vision of people like
Martin Luther King Jnr, Malcolm X – all of those who fought
for Black rights in America. Obama becoming president
is one of those dreams coming true. He’s got a big night ahead but it’s also exciting for those
who are lucky enough to be attending do we know who got the invite? There are many going. About 1000 people will be attending. Are you one of them? Have you been invited? No. That’s us both
who have been left out. However, I have heard many Maori
will be attending tonight, some iwi leaders
and business innovators. I’ve spoken to people who are
excited to see him in person. He’s a person that grabs the
attention of all who are listening. It’s a huge talent to be able
to speak well publically. So it’ll be a big night. He’s currently at a powhiri
as we speak. Tomorrow it seems Maori
will also feature with his meeting. Can you tell us what that is about? He will be meeting with Wahine Toa. A group of 20 lucky women who are leaders in their communities
and fields of work. Their main aim is to give back
their knowledge and experiences with youth and their communities. So yes, tomorrow they will meet, they are one of the only groups
who will get to meet him like that. It was The Obama Foundation’s
main objective to uplift women so it’s an issue
that’s very near and dear to him. But it’s going to be
a secret affair. I spoke to Kiri Nathan
who will be at that gathering, and she was unable to share
where or when it will happen. But no doubt it’ll be a memorable
one for those women. What are your thoughts
of this powhiri taking place now? It’s being held
by Ngati Whatua Orakei and it seemed to be
a beautiful affair with them welcoming Obama on to the grounds
of Government House. What are your thoughts on the event
that has a Maori element to it? It should be like that. Who other than Ngati Whatua
to carry this and represent our culture to
formally welcome this famous guest. No doubt it was a big deal
for Obama as well. He’s one who holds his African
culture near and dear to him. His name is also African, so I’m sure he would feel the spirit
of our culture and our customs. It’s very different to America, but it’s important to showcase
our mana and all of that. Thank you for the update,
Irena Smith. As we can see Tuapiri Schiaschia
from Ngati Kahungunu is speaking on behalf
of the visitors’ side. No doubt there is no one better than
him to advise a guest such as Obama.


  1. Nice presentation by Scotty and Irena, I thoroughly enjoyed this video. I Liked the Former President Obama and his wife the First Lady Michelle, when they were in the White House.

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