President McAleese has been conferred with an honorary degree at New Zealand's oldest university.

She was presented with a Doctor of Laws degree at the University of Otago in Dunedin on the South Island.

The university has some 20,000 students on campus. It is also the only university in Australia or New Zealand with an undergraduate programme in Irish Studies.

The chair is funded by Co Monaghan-born businessman Eamon Cleary who has was named the third wealthiest businessman in New Zealand's National Business Reviews Rich List.

Promoting business links and meeting members of New Zealand's Irish community has also been part of this visit.

And to mark their contribution to the country, the President unveiled a plaque to Irish immigrants at the quayside in Wellington.