web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Selling New Zealand: 100% Muddle-Urf

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, October 11th, 2012 - 18 comments
Categories: business, Conservation, economy, exports, film, jobs, john key, overseas investment, sustainability, tourism, trade, tv - Tags: ,

Why is John Key strongly backing tourism as a significant export earner for NZ’s future? His trip to Hollywood was not just about promoting NZ as an international filming location.  It was also intimately tied up with promoting NZ as a tourist destination.  Surely, in these days of peak resources, international tourism must face an uncertain future?  And why is the government so fixated on attracting US tourists?

On October 8 (Monday) the Toronto Star had a news item reporting on research done for the NZ government, which indicates economic returns from the Hobbit may not live up to expectations.  Recent trends and circumstances suggest that the returns will not be as great as those gained from the LoTR trilogy.

The currency has doubled in value, hindering exports and deterring tourists that came in droves after the earlier films. …

The government is hoping the Hobbit movies will reverse a 10 per cent drop in tourist spending since 2008 and reinvigorate a film production industry that has increased about 10-fold since New Zealand film director Peter Jackson began using the country’s scenery to recreate Tolkien’s Middle Earth in 1999.

This also explains why the government has switched to the focus from 100% Pure to 100% Middle Earth in the international branding for NZ.  The sycophantic TV3 and TV One News this week eagerly jumped on board the PR build up to the Hobbit red carpet celebrity circus in Wellington at the end of November.  A couple of days ago TourismNZ website announced it’s launch of the first NZ 100% Middle-earth/ 100% Pure New Zealand campaign in the USA, linked to the Hobbit.  This is justified by saying,

“The USA is a priority market for Tourism New Zealand, and a key market for the 100% Middle-earth campaign activity,”

This all seems to reflect John Key’s fixation on hobnobbing with the rich and powerful US elite, as shown on Campbell Live last night.  However, the government doesn’t seem to be paying much attention to its own statistics show that China is growing as a significant tourism earner for  NZ.

According to the International Visitors Survey table – Years ended June 2011 and 2012, Australia is the country that provides the biggest number of tourists for NZ, followed by the UK, then the US, China, Japan, Germany, the Republic of Korea. The average Chinese tourist spends more than the average Aussie, and a similar amount to the UK and US averages.  In total the order of spending is as follows: Australians spend most ($1,638 mill per year approx), then UK, (approx. $570 mill) then US (approx $440 mill), then China (from $410-$500 mill – increase from 2011-2012), then Japan, Germany, and the Republic of Korea.

The uncertainties about the amount of NZ income the Hobbit movies will generate, probably explains why Key re-focused on attracting more international TV productions to NZ.  It also may explain why James Cameron seemed to be playing a double game. he was helping Key in his crony capitalist, movie exec schmoozing in LA, while he has also recently been exploring making his next Avatar movie in China (as discussed by Gordon Campbell).  Maybe it has Key’s blessing, with the aim to film in both China and NZ, in an attempt to attract more Chinese tourists?

This focus makes some sense as tourism is still a significant earner for New Zealand, though somewhat static, as shown for 2011 (taken from Table 3 & Figure 6 comparing 2008-2011):

  • International tourism’s contribution to total exports, at $9.7 billion (16.8 percent of exports), was less than the export receipts from dairy products, including casein, which totalled $11.6 billion (19.9 percent of exports).

However, the questions still remain:  Why continue to focus so strongly on selling New Zealand tourism through Hollywood productions? Surely the NZ government should to be putting this amount of effort into developing other industries?

And is targeting the US international screen industry and it’s movie-tourists really the best direction for NZ’s future?

18 comments on “Selling New Zealand: 100% Muddle-Urf”

  1. shorts 1

    I love movies and have gone and visited exactly 0 locations/countries where my favourite movies were made

    Are we selling NZ Tourism or promoting a hollywood movie?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      “I love movies and have gone and visited exactly 0 locations/countries where my favourite movies were made”

      Are you an affluent upper-middle class American who is looking for a novel holiday experience? No? Then you’re not the target market for this.

      • shorts 1.1.1

        no I’m not… and I blame the govt for my plight

        so rich Americans are the Hobbits target market… surely showing off (target marketing) our over priced exclusive tourist lodges would be more appealing to them rich types…

    • Descendant Of Smith 1.2

      I’m continually tempted to go to Portmeririon where The Prisoner was filmed.

      • DS1 1.2.1

        I wanted to go to Airstrip 1, but then it came to me.

      • Hilary 1.2.2

        I did go to Portmeirion many years ago but didn’t spend any money there – just admired the buildings, and the beach that looks like a NZ one. On the other hand my tourist destination of choice was Scandinavia to see what wealthy social democracies are like.

    • vto 1.3

      I enjoy visiting the Goodbye Pork Pie location

  2. karol 2

    I’m pretty sure I read somewhere recently that only a small percentage (maybe 7%) of tourists come to NZ for movie locations.  I think the Middle Earth link is about using NZ scenery on the big screen as a branding for NZ – to attract people to the country.  Threy say.
     
    But research shows that 63% of NZ tourism’s target market are aware of the connection:
     

    “Our latest research told us that there is a 63 per cent level of awareness of the film amongst out target market, and we expect a significant increase in interest from the Americas with the release of The Hobbit movie in December. All of our activity in market is working to convert this interest into a trip to New Zealand.”

    Using the 100% Middle-earth creative and leveraging Tourism New Zealand’s other activity in market, the campaign will drive the message that the cinematic fantasy world of Middle-earth, is in fact the reality of New Zealand, and inspire Americans to visit.
     

    But they also say that, once here, NZ needs to provide other activities, not just visits to movie locations.  It seems to me to be a shaky case of the Middle Earth branding .

  3. Jokerman 3

    It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us.

    -Isaac D’Israeli

  4. OneTrack 4

    “However, the questions still remain:  Why continue to focus so strongly on selling New Zealand tourism through Hollywood productions? Surely the NZ government should to be putting this amount of effort into developing other industries?”

    What do you mean? Key spent a day or two in the US and the tourism NZ stuff looks a minor variation on what they would usually do, movie or no movie.

    Hardly a strong focus.

    • OneTrack 4.1

      Or do you just not like Hobbits?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Hobbits are fine as long as they are unionised. Hobbit scabs should be fed to Mount Doom.

      • karol 4.1.2

        I have nothing against Hobbits, but I do have something against Hobbit laws.  And I do have something against the way NZ is being branded for the US movie and tourist industries. 
         
        And if you want to know what it is I don’t like about the (so-called) Hobbit law, take  a look at this:
         
        It’s a Gordon Campbell article, in the latest edition of Werewolf, just published today.  Campbell has got hold of a contract for NZ actors performing in Power Ranges, filming now in Auckland. It’s a contract of indentured servitude.
         

        The preamble to the contract document for instance, says that the performer has to be available anytime between I October 2012, and 10 May 2013 (by my reckoning, a period of 222 days) but “shall be guaranteed a minimum of 20 (twenty) not necessarily consecutive days” during that production cycle. These “working days” are 12 hours in duration, with a 45 minute lunch break. There’s a week of preparation that the performer is also expected to donate to the production free of charge :

         
        And the listed points Campbell elaborates on includes:
         
        1. Extra Duties, No Pay

        2. The 60% Clause.

        Under clause 2.5 if the producer decides to re-record any number of dialogue lines, this will be done by the performer for free in addition to their normal work if scheduled on a designated Working Day for the performer – otherwise, the performers can be called in and paid only 60% of their ordinary daily rate, for recording sessions of up to five hours duration.

         
        3. No Residuals.
         
        4. Use of Identity, Throughout The Universe.
         
        5 Morality, Behaviour and Physical Appearance :


        Campbell elaborates on all these points, and more.

         
         
         
         
         
         
         

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1

          More and more contracts are starting to look like that. The scary thing is that people are signing them because they have no choice.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      No wonder Key is bleeding support in all directions.

  5. Maui 5

    I have a concrete solution for Key’s problems.

    1. He creates the position of Minister for Hollywood, then promptly appoints himself.

    2. He petitions the next US President and Congress for inclusion of NZ as 52nd state of the Union.

    3. The voters are consulted at a convenient date.

    4. Te Papa is relocated to the Bishop Museum in Hawai’i

    5. He gets a guest role in of Sir Peter Jackson’s forthcoming productions.

    Is everybody happy ?

  6. Populuxe1 6

    And why is the government so fixated on attracting US tourists?

    I’m pretty damned sure that LOTR had a much bigger audience than just the US http://books.google.co.nz/books/about/Watching_the_Lord_of_the_Rings.html?id=5XOL49zCAHEC&redir_esc=y
    and tourism is worth NZ$23 billion a year to New Zealand’s economy. I’m guessing that’s probably why.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    9 hours ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    9 hours ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    9 hours ago
  • National’s albatross, taxpayers’ curse
    Government consideration of further corporate welfare hand-outs to SkyCity for its convention centre shows just how weak the original contract was, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “Taxpayers will be appalled to hear that on top of the humiliating… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    3 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    3 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    3 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    3 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    4 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    4 days ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    4 days ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    4 days ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    5 days ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    5 days ago
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    5 days ago
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    6 days ago
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere