Former U.S. President Barack Obama has arrived in New Zealand for a three-day visit, where he will speak with community leaders, meet the nation's prime minister and play some golf.

The sessions will be closed to the public and media except for an official welcome ceremony Thursday. Obama does not plan to answer questions from reporters.

Former presidents often choose to keep a relatively low public profile to avoid undermining sitting presidents. Still, the lack of public engagement has frustrated some in the South Pacific nation, who are eager to hear Obama's thoughts on his time in the White House and the turbulent presidency of Donald Trump.

Obama said in a statement that he had long wanted to visit New Zealand given its close friendship with the U.S.