• Leaders' private chat reveals admiration for Key
• Obama can't resist cheeky dig at NZ-Aus rivalry
• 'John is a wonderful guy - not just because we play golf together'

Apec ended on a personal high for Prime Minister John Key when audio of a private conversation between US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed their admiration for him.

Mr Obama called Mr Key a "wonderful guy" and a "good friend" and Mr Turnbull called him "a role model."

The pair were chatting before the start of the Trans-Pacific Partnership meeting on Wednesday hosted by Mr Obama at his hotel.


Microphones have once again captured an exchange between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US president Barack Obama...

Posted by ABC News on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mr Obama asks the freshly installed Mr Turnbull who he is going to be meeting next after his previous bilaterals.

Mr Turnbull says he will be meeting John tonight.

"I was going to see PNG but I'll catch them another time."

It is not clear whether Mr Obama is referring to the recent strain between New Zealand and Australia over deportees, but he jokes: "So you actually talk to the New Zealanders?"

Mr Turnbull replies: "I do. He is real role model."

Mr Obama then says: "John is a wonderful guy and he and I have become good friends. And not just because we play golf together."

Mr Obama and Mr Key were elected within a week of each other in 2008; they both have holiday homes in Hawaii and spent five hours on the golf course two years ago.

Close friends: Obama with John Key in the Oval Office in 2014. Photo / Supplied
Close friends: Obama with John Key in the Oval Office in 2014. Photo / Supplied

The conversation was posted on the Australian ABC's Facebook page with the comment: "the pair were caught comparing notes on their favourite world leader."


Asked about the comments, Mr Key said it was "very nice of them".

"I've been around President Obama for a long period of time and I think he is a really genuine good guy and I think the friendship we have got is genuine so it would be disappointing if he didn't say that but it's very nice that he has.

"He's just a straight up genuine guy."

Malcolm Turnbull is welcomed to New Zealand by John Key.
Malcolm Turnbull is welcomed to New Zealand by John Key.

The summit ended yesterday but not before Philippines police dispersed protesters with water cannons and music.

ABC reported that the police put on Katy Perry's Roar at full volume to drown out chants. Other songs played were Dolly Parton's Islands in the Stream, David Guetta's Sexy Bitch and the Bee Gees' How Deep is Your Love.

Some of the police tapped their batons in time with the music it was reported and a police spokeswoman said Filipinos loved music and it had a calming effect.