Barack Obama welcomed to New Zealand with Maori nose-rubbing greeting

Former president discusses leadership, climate

By NICOLE CHAVEZ, CNN
Pool/Getty Images

Barack Obama, Jacinda Ardern

(CNN) - Former President Barack Obama got up close and personal with some native New Zealanders.

During a three-day visit to New Zealand, Obama was given a traditional Maori tribal welcome on Friday. He was gifted with a whale tooth pendant and was honored with a hongi -- a greeting in which two people press their noses and foreheads together.

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Barack Obama

Obama met with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to discuss leadership, climate change and how social media affects politics, Arden told reporters.

He also held a public speaking event for an audience of about 800 and spent time playing golf with former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir John Key, The New Zealand Herald reported.

He isn't the first high-profile visitor to take part in the tradition. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, have done it in the past.

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