It’s behind an NBR paywall, but I’m told this is how Trade Minister Tim Groser described the threat to our “100% Pure” image.
“Our enemies who are internal, will find one cow in one stream and feed it back to environmental activists in the developed world to be used to try to exclude New Zealand’s products and services in the ludicrous belief this will somehow help New Zealand.”
The 100% pure brand was used to market the New Zealand tourism experience and it has been deliberately manipulated in this space,” Mr Groser says.
The “100% Pure” brand might be a good one for the tourism folk, but we don’t live up to the promise. The brand trades on New Zealand’s reputation for being an unspoilt paradise, but it’s a reputation we don’t deserve. Our streams and waterways are dirty, our agricultural emissions are growing, and we subsidise our biggest polluters. There is also no sense of urgency within central government about the threat to our clean green image.
We’re not the most polluted country in the world, but nor are we clean. We should aspire to be a country where the physical environment we live in is nurtured and cherished, rather than being treated as a dumping ground.
If our clean green image is so important, why isn’t the government Groser is a part of doing more to protect it? Groser’s attack on environmentalists is a clumsy attempt to divert attention from the government’s failures.
Nobody living in a democracy should be talking about “internal enemies”, but if we must identify those responsible for the failure of our “100% Pure” brand, let’s start with the polluters, not those who are trying to improve the environment.