Recently there was a lot of hoopla about a new advertising campaign to attract people to New Zealand which is essentially ‘New Zealand – as seen in The Hobbit. I thought that anyone who was interested enough in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of JRR Tolkein’s work would know by now that the movies were made in New Zealand and if you didn’t a quick glance at imdb.com (How did I live before that site?) would tell you, though I suppose you wouldn’t know that you can actually visit Hobbiton.
Now I’ve traveled a bit, lived over seas, know people overseas (or at least pretend people in my computer) and I think there are things about the country that just aren’t being sold enough. For example everyone knows about Australia and how they have most of the worlds most venomous spiders or snakes but do people know that just next door is a country that doesn’t have any snakes at all? Only NZ and Ireland are completely snake free – that’s a huge selling point. Add to that we only have one poisonous spider which is really shy and lives in sand dunes and is hardly ever seen, I’ve certainly never seen a Katipo.
The flip side is that we don’t really have any interesting animals – we have slightly odd birds, a lizard which is actually a dinosaur and a bug that is HUGE and looks scary but is actually pretty wussy:
We’re also ahead of the rest of the world – we’re the first country to see each day.
So I think they should rebrand the country – New Zealand, World leaders in time where there are no nasty bity things.