A recent Herald issue ran a guest article by a tourist operator, a Gavin Oliver, in which he referred to “Aotearoa as one of the world’s most desirable tourist locations”.

Putting aside the reality that no-one anywhere in the world will have heard of Aotearoa, Gavin is talking world-class tosh.

Take out naturally avoided war-torn nations and New Zealand is one of the least desired tourist locations in the world, currently ranking in 133rd place. France for example gets as many tourists every 10 days as we do in a year.

Gavin’s astonishing ignorant comment reflects a particularly embarrassing New Zealand trait, namely the ridiculous belief that the whole world is in awe, overcome with admiration about New Zealand.

My pick, if people were no longer wisely shunning Black Africa, is we would rate almost last as a tourist destination with the likes of only North Korea and such horror places behind us. The reason for that is not our geographic isolation, this no longer a factor in an age of mass cheap tourism, but simply because, compared with most countries we’re not very interesting which is why about 15% of us have upped sticks to live abroad.

I choose to live here for a number of reasons but would be gone in a flash if I couldn’t periodically leave. Currently, I spend about 8 months of the year abroad.

None of this to knock New Zealand, rather it’s to call for an end to the sort of infantile nonsense written by Gavin Oliver about our alleged wonderfulness in the eyes of the wider world.




Finally! But once again, the truth has had to come from you Bob. So often the justification for encouraging low value backpackers to NZ (aside from their enthusiastic labour in cafes etc) is that one day “they’ll be wealthy, have a family and will return to re-live their NZ experience”. What tosh, to quote you. They don’t come back. Who wants to re-live the aggressive confrontations; vehicle break-ins; expensive crap food; the exotic culture of the tattooed fat bums.
Our tourists are predominately Australians, because it’s cheap and they are happy with a diet of Red Rooster (or they are here to ski) and Chinese for reasons that mystify me, but which maori crime will soon put a stop to.

How true and the only reason we do get any tourists, is due to the dismal NZ$ exchange rate making it a cheaper destination.

We’re not as good as we used to be, admittedly, and the closer we get to co-governance the worse the tourism industry will get. Nobody wants to visit a divided country. Extreme sports people, hunters and flshermen will still come here, along with overseas family visiting new residents will still come, plus the international sports team camp followers. Sadly, covid and bad government have made too many things too expensive. See if the next herd in parliament can make any changes eh? Sooner the better,

When I lived in the UK over twenty years ago, there was an article in one of the broadsheet newspapers about the unspoken truth about New Zealanders. It started by saying good things, like the kiwis living in the UK were generally hardworking, polite, friendly, unassuming and modest. It then went on to say that the unspoken truth was that the kiwis were mostly rather dull without much of a sense of humour.

Bingo Sir Bob. Upon return to our rainy land, I would always mutter to my wife – back to kindergarten!

Go to a beautiful beach in NZ. Now, you have seen them all.

Spot on Sir Bob. Alongside the infantile statements of Gavin are:
“New Zealand punches above its weight” and
“The world is watching what we are doing”.

All of which are clap trap.

Having lived abroad for almost 25 years of my life, I know as the other side turns from day to night, New Zealand could fall off the earth and nobody would miss us, other than English rugby fans.

Have to agree. A really full place if you can’t get out regularly. I left permanently in 1990.

Totally agree Bob we have just returned from a European holiday and at no time did anyone refer to NZ as Aotearoa not even the kiwis we met. In fact, it once again highlighted how insignificant we are on a global scale. The most astonishing thing was the civil works we encountered (which were not many) were completed without bloody road cones.

    Couldn’t agree more. Major buildings built in Mayfair London, narrow streets, just a fence line to mark it, not a cone or disruption anywhere.

While we have some nice scenery NZ is not an interesting country for tourists mainly because we are relatively young and have no real history.
The govt. and tourism industry are aware of this which must be the reason they are pushing Maori wonderfulness mythology in the vain belief people will come to get an understanding of our initial immigrants.
It is miles behind the history and cultures of Europe / Asia / Africa etc.
We should realise our tourism is based on fishing / golf / hiking / skiing and bungy jumping with good food and wine

I love New Zealand like I love Irish Whiskey. It’s great but really, a bottle all at once!

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