Kate delighted a five-year-old fan who greeted the couple on the tarmac by giving her a hug. Kate rubbed noses with Mataawhio Matahaere who handed the Duchess a book for Prince George, before wrapping her arms around the British royal's neck.
"I asked if I could hug her and she said yes," said Mataawhio. "She was beautiful."
The 32-year-old Duchess looked radiant in an aquamarine dress by Auckland-born designer Emillia Wickstead, the first time on the tour that she had chosen to wear a New Zealand designer.
Kate accessorised her outfit with a Jane Taylor hat and a silver fern brooch while William sported a navy suit and a light blue tie.
The Duke thanked tribe elder Edward Ellison for the couple's warm welcome, adding that he thought "it was a bit like being in Edinburgh with the conditions, the weather and the bagpipes," the latter designed to reflect the city's large Scottish population.
"We are very excited they're here," said Edward. "They are an inspirational couple and we hear a lot about them."
William and Kate then left Dunedin Airport and made their way to a Palm Sunday church service at the grand St Paul's Cathedral in the city centre.
After the service the royals will make their way to the Forsyth Barr stadium, also known as 'the glasshouse', to watch and participate in the Rippa Rugby tournament with the New Zealand All Blacks.
Following on from Friday's yacht race in Auckland and their fun cycling engagement at the Avantidrome in Hamilton on Saturday, the sporty duo will step out at the stadium, which is home to the Highlanders and played host to four games during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.