Mystery still shrouds the exact identity of VIPs expected in Queenstown this weekend, but Prime Minister Bill English's office has ruled out a current or former head of state, such as former US President Barack Obama.

In a statement a spokesman for Prime Minister Bill English confirmed a number of senior officials were coming for a conference hosted by the Government - but would not reveal what the conference was.

"Due to specific security requirements we cannot comment further at this time. However, as police have pointed out they are not aware of a visit to Queenstown by a current or former head of state."

The high level of secrecy has led to speculation it is a Five Eyes related meeting - the intelligence partnership of the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Advertisement

If so, one of those attending could be US President Donald Trump's new Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats.

Speculation about the visit was sparked after the Otago Daily Times reported a "very, very important person" was set to arrive in the region and strong security measures were underway in preparation.

The ODT said it was understood the operation would continue for about a week with golf featuring on the itinerary.

Visits by the top spies are usually kept under wraps, although former Prime Minister John Key last year disclosed the then US director of intelligence Jim Clapper was in town when asked why a US plane was at the military terminal in Wellington. Clapper visited on his way to Australia for a Five Eyes conference.

He retired before last year's US elections and Coats was sworn in in March.

The director of national intelligence is the chief intelligence adviser to the President and oversees the 16 agencies within the US intelligence community including the CIA and National Security Agency.

Queenstown, and Arrowtown in particular have long been a magnet for international figures.

Former United States President Bill Clinton stayed at Millbrook Resort in 1999 after an Apec leaders' meeting in Auckland.