Oprah, Witherspoon, Kaling welcomed to NZ with pōwhiri

  • 14/02/2017

Hollywood royalty Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling have been in Aotearoa for nearly two days, and have been greeted with a traditional Kiwi greeting - a pōwhiri and karakia.

They're in Queenstown and are taking some time out before filming around Wanaka for the Disney movie A Wrinkle in Time.

Director Ava DuVernay shared an instagram photo of the group enjoying the greeting.

"Welcomed with a Powhiri. Blessed with a Karakia. United with a Haka. Grateful to the Maori people, Tangata Whenua, for receiving us so warmly. Thank you! #WrinkleinTime," she said.

The snap shows Witherspoon and Winfrey smiling, while Kaling looks smart as she grins from the side.

It seems Witherspoon has recovered from her travel fatigue, as in an earlier post she spoke of her jetlag.

Witherspoon has taken advantage of New Zealand's place in the time zones and sent out a Valentine's Day message to her fans in the US.

On Monday afternoon Witherspoon posted a selfie with Kaling on Facebook, saying: "Watch out New Zealand! We're heeeeeerrrree & Ready to: 1. Hike these mtns 2. Snuggle some sheep 3. Meet awesome Kiwis. [sic]"

Soon after, Wanaka's Ritual Espresso Cafe shared a pic of their celebrity visitor with the caption: "Just another day at the office."

Also on Monday, Kaling tweeted: "This isn't a good time to tell you I have abandoned my rewrite for New Zealand shopping."

The film's director, Ava DuVernay, has also posted from the South Island, showing her happiness at winning a BAFTA for her documentary 13TH.

Winfrey was only recently in New Zealand, speaking exclusively to Three in 2015 and performing a one-off show in Auckland. 

A Wrinkle In Time is a fantasy adventure, based on the 1962 novel series by Madeleine L'Engle. The movie is set to be released in the US on April 6, 2018.

Other members of the star-studded cast who could very well be voyaging to New Zealand include Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine and Rowan Blanchard.