John says, “do you want to visit?” Obama says, “oKey doKey.”

Kirsten Hawke

The team at BUSINESS buddy realise the power of good networking, so the news of the former US president Barack Obama’s visit later this month – got us thinking.

John says, “do you want to visit?” Obama says, “oKey doKey.”

Obama will be the first former US president to visit New Zealand in decades.

With 100 million Twitter followers, and a press core to rival, his visit will generate big exposure for Aotearoa and allow us to showcase our business prowess on the world-stage.

NZ-US Council spokesman Leon Grice says Obama will speak at an event hosted by the New Zealand-United States Council on March 22, 2018.

It will be an invitation-only event for about 1000 people. Fancy as.

The audience will be diverse, youth leadership will feature heavily, and BUSINESS buddy is still holding out for an invitation.

The bromance

As a director on the board of Air New Zealand, there is no doubt Sir John Key played a part in orchestrating this trip.

Obama is not anticipated to bring his family, so the pair have a chance to rekindle their bromance on the golf course.

 “John is a wonderful guy and he and I have become good friends,” Obama told former Australian Prime minister Malcom Turnbull during the APEC summit in 2015.

Our business manager, Deidre Morgan, would love the opportunity to become buddies with Obama, too.

She is busy practicing her swing in anticipation of his arrival.


Leon Grice said Obama’s itinerary would include having some fun.

If Obama is feeling a little homesick, BUSINESS buddy suggests he and Sir John could pay a visit to Rotavegas or Wellywood. 

Or they could hit the Viaduct and try a Speights or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, although an evening on the dance floor may be a no-no.

“I have dad moves,” Obama openly admitted during a recent interview with David Letterman

But reassuringly, Obama knows his dancing limits.

“You gotta stay in the pocket.

“Everyone knows dads who get out of the pocket.

“They are trying stuff they can’t really pull off,” says Obama.

At BUSINESS buddy, we believe in pushing the boundaries and doing things differently. 

We say who gives a stuff about your pocket, don’t worry about what others think Obama, take a big leap out and jump right out.

Mode of travel

As President, Obama’s main mode of transport was The Beast, a $1 million US dollar bomb proof Cadillac.

While in New Zealand, BUSINESS buddy suggests he tries something new.

To gain a real authentic Kiwi experience, he could try a spot of freedom camping, although he needs to make sure he keeps all his tax receipts during his trip.

Kiwi entrepreneurs

Obama understands that good networking is all about developing mutually beneficial relationships.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if he met other home-grown business leaders and innovators while touring the country?

Technology entrepreneur and founder of Xero, Rod Drury, could advise him on the best way to claim for his business trip.

The awesome Mat Mowbray, founder and CEO of Zuru, could suggest some amazing toys to take back as presents for his girls.

And, Peter Beck founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, could give Obama an experience that would be out of this world at the Mahia launch site.


Like him or loathe him as a politician, he will be remembered as one of the most amazing orator of our time.

He demonstrates the qualities of a talented, persuasive, and motivational speaker.

Obama famously says, “If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.”

If Obama can inspire young Kiwis down the right path or encourage home-grown entrepreneurs to keep walking, then his upcoming visit is well worth it.

Kirsten Hawke