John Key was spotted by Australian journalists this week wandering across the lobby of his luxury Peninsula Hotel in Manila wearing only his dressing gown.

Well almost only. Apparently he had his togs on underneath his robe.

While still in his dressing gown, he stopped and talked politics to the astonished journalists and described Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as "a bolter" who would be in power for 10 years - some have written about the unusual encounter on Wednesday evening about 6 pm.

Mr Key told New Zealand journalists this morning he was on his way back from the hotel pool.


When asked what sort of world leader would do that, he joked it wouldn't be a world leader but "a junior world leader."

Possibly it was Mr Turnbull who thought journalists would be working, not drinking.

He also said there was no short-cut to the pool.

Mr Key, Mr Turnbull and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were all at the same hotel.

It came as Mr Key received a shout out from Turnbull Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Audio of a private conversation between US President Barack Obama and 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.

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."

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.