An off-the-wall tourism advert about a conspiracy to omit New Zealand from world maps clocked up almost half a million views on the Prime Minister’s social media account within 24 hours.
Jacinta Ardern posted the video featuring herself and comedian Rhys Darby on her social media account last week with the comment: “Admit it. You’ve noticed the absence of New Zealand on world maps before too.
“Some call it a conspiracy some call it negligent … either way it’s time for a wee campaign.”
The video has since gone viral on social media, in a win for creators Tourism NZ.
The ad features Darby exclaiming “Where the bloody hell are ya?” over a pin board full of New Zealand-less world maps, in a nod to the contentious Australian tourism advert banned in the UK and Canada for its use of swear words back in 2006.
Darby points out the absence of Aotearoa on numerous maps, including those displayed by The Smithsonian, the BBC, the United Nations, IKEA and on the board of the game Risk.
He muses the glaring omission is a ploy by the English to negate the power of the All Blacks, the French to counter the appeal of our wines and the Australians to steal the lion’s share of tourists heading Down Under – or just because Aotearoa is a “bit of a fiddly-looking shaped country, a bit like a half-eaten lamb chop”.
New Zealand is larger than the United Kingdom and over two-thirds the size of Japan and Germany, yet has been missed off numerous maps of the world for many years.