Who's the 'VVIP' visiting New Zealand?

Barack Obama has spent a lot of time on holiday since leaving office (Getty)
Barack Obama has spent a lot of time on holiday since leaving office (Getty)

Is Barack Obama finally coming to New Zealand?

A wealth of speculation is growing around the suspected visit of a major political figure in Queenstown this weekend.

A security detail under the alias of Operation Silver Fern will require members of the police and special tactics teams including more than a dozen reinforcements from Christchurch.

Sources have told the Otago Daily Times that the operation to protect a "very, very important person" could require twice the number of security detail used for the visit of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in February.

While there has been no confirmation of the "very important person," speculation is growing about a visit by former US President Barack Obama.

The suspected week-long visit to the area is believed to include a round of golf which is a favourite pastime of the former Commander-in-Chief.

Mr Obama has spent the last month in the Pacific nation of Tahiti travelling around the islands with wife, Michelle Obama.

In 2016, the then President expressed his desire to visit Down Under and was reported to have plans to visit in the (American) summer after his presidency ended.

In 1999, former US President Bill Clinton stayed at Millbrook resort after an Apec leaders' summit in Auckland.

Central Otago has been a hotspot for VIPs and famous people - Justin Bieber spent time in Arrowtown during his visit to New Zealand after sold-out concerts in March.

Five things a 'VVIP' visiting central Otago can do during their stay

Arrowtown is a great place with some hidden gems that MrObama - or whoever is visiting the area - can experience.

Here are five things they can do to fill in time during their exclusive stay.

1. Museum: The little old museum on the main street in Arrowtown is rich with history, where you can even dress up as 1900s folk. It costs $10 for an adult - but surely they'd let a VVIP sneak in for free?

2. Gold mining: For $3 you can grab a pan and have a crack at digging up some gold from the nearby Arrow River, like the early settlers used to back in the day - although with the former President's annual salary of nearly NZ$300,000, he won't have to rely on luck too much.

3. Chinese settlement: You can literally take a walk back in time and visit the historic Arrowtown Chinese settlement, a partially restored 1800s village of Chinese gold miners' huts - much different to the swanky rooms at the White House. 

4. Make a racquet: Although golf is already believed to be on the agenda, a VVIP could grab a racquet and take on some locals at the campground tennis court. "King of the court" is a favourite pastime during summer, but a revamped version of "President of the court" may suit.

5. The Kiwi pie: The Arrowtown bakery boasts a (sort-of) world-famous venison gourmet pie.


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