Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has spent her first 24 hours in New Zealand mixing with the local Croatian community.
Afte being greeted by a traditional Maori welcome at Government House in Auckland, President Grabar-Kitarović met with a number of high-profile New Zealanders of Croatian descent, including singing superstar Lorde.
Lorde, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor and claims Croatian roots on her mother’s side, posed with the Croatian president.
Later in the evening, the Croatian president attended the Croatian Cultural Society in Auckland for a special function. Hundreds turned out to meet the president as the locals, young and old, put on a display of Croatian culture, including singing and dancing for her.
“Arriving in New Zealand, Croats continued to develop fisheries, olive growing and grape growing with great success and are among the most deserving of this development in this island state. At the same time they have not forgotten their roots, and have preserved tradition, language, and customs,” President Grabar-Kitarović said.
The president will also visit Rotorua, Taupo, and Wellington on her first official state visit to New Zealand. She will also visit Simunovic’s olive grove in Bombay Hills.
It is the first visit to New Zealand by a Croatian president since 1995.
(Photos: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović/Facebook)