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Care for People and Place will be the applied theme and ethos for all the country’s efforts and activity across the event as New Zealand aims to use Expo 2020 Dubai to reconnect with the world.

With just four months to go until the start of Expo 2020 Dubai, New Zealand is unveiling more detail, and a new video trailer, about how the nation’s theme of Care for People and Place will guide all the engagement, activities, and events undertaken at the mega event inside the New Zealand pavilion and beyond.

The theme is inspired by the indigenous environmental ethos of kaitiakitanga, the understanding that humans and nature are inextricably connected. It is a deep belief that humans have a responsibility to care and protect the land, sky and water and that nature will, in turn, provide and care for humans to sustain and safeguard a future for all. This Care for People and Place forms the theme for New Zealand’s pavilion and activities at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“Our new video is a teaser as to what visitors can expect when they come to the New Zealand pavilion and an insight into our theme. As an inclusive and multicultural society, New Zealand takes a long-term, multi-generational view to both social and environmental issues, some of which can be seen in the footage. Our pavilion experience at Expo 2020 will demonstrate how we apply Care for People and Place to all facets of life, particularly when it comes to business, social inclusion, women’s empowerment, youth development, food production and agriculture, our primary export sector. We believe this approach is helping to unlock significant economic advantage for New Zealand to leverage at Expo 2020,” said Clayton Kimpton, New Zealand’s Commissioner-General to Expo 2020 Dubai.

The visitor experience within the New Zealand pavilion has been inspired by a key example of kaitiakitanga, as in 2017 a world-first legal status was accorded to the Whanganui River in New Zealand. Under the legislation, the Whanganui River was and is recognised as a living entity, called Te Awa Tupua. The innovative legislation obligates the government, local authorities, and all communities of the river to work together under Tupua Te Kawa, the innate values of Te Awa Tupua. This important historical move from leading indigenous communities within New Zealand will form the base of a beautiful, immersive visitor experience which will leave guests with a deeper understanding as to why kaitiakitanga is so important to the planet. The experience will also show how and why New Zealand continues to push innovation and technology across a range of important business sectors such as agritech, healthcare and food and beverage production in order to care and protect.

“The idea that we are indivisible from the natural world is expressed through every aspect of our pavilion experience – from the architecture and building façade which is designed to ripple with a pulse coupled with the thought-provoking cinematic storytelling, to the entertainment and cultural programme that highlights a huge breadth of talent and an outstanding restaurant which celebrates New Zealand produce that is always made with care,” continued Kimpton. 

The New Zealand Pavilion will also feature a full-service restaurant operated by Emirates Flight Catering, where visitors can taste the outstanding quality of the country’s food and beverage offering. Named “Tiaki” meaning to care, safeguard, protect and preserve in te reo Māori, the restaurant demonstrates New Zealand’s special connection to the land and sea – a relationship founded on respect and understanding that when nature thrives, we all thrive. The country’s lush, green pastures, fertile soil and cool, clear waters combine to grow outstanding, great-tasting, nutritious produce, from a trusted and safe source.

Beyond the design, experience and restaurant in the New Zealand pavilion, Care for People and Place lives throughout the country’s programming, entertainment and business interactions at Expo 2020.

In another world-first, New Zealand is leading on, and working with, international Indigenous and Tribal peoples to deliver the first ever Global Indigenous Symposium at a World Expo.  Known as Te Aratini, it will be a culturally significant moment, which is set to elevate the contributions, unlimited potential, and insights that Indigenous Peoples offer in solving current and future global issues. The symposium will be held in November 2021, during Expo 2020’s Tolerance and Inclusivity Week. In the spirit of inclusivity, Te Aratini will support attendees to develop a deeper and more holistic understanding of Indigenous Economic Inclusion and the converging roles of culture, community, commerce and conservation in the protection, maintenance and resurgence of the world’s indigenous economies from an indigenous perspective.

Expo 2020 Dubai presents a monumental opportunity for New Zealand to build on its already reputable international brand and generate economic benefits through increased trade and investment, particularly for its rapidly growing export sectors of agritech, healthcare, manufacturing and food and beverage.  New Zealand exporters are expected to travel to Dubai during the six months of Expo 2020 to engage with international business leaders, promote innovations and seek investment.

Care for People and Place also extends to future generations through extensive learning experiences and opportunities which will be showcased at Expo 2020. These programmes have been designed to support the growth of future leaders and include the Global Kaitiakitanga Project for young entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to world issues and a trainee chef programme which will see four talented young chefs from New Zealand work alongside professional chefs from Emirates Flight Catering in the Tiaki restaurant for a once-in-lifetime experience which will springboard their careers.

A vibrant entertainment and cultural programme highlighting the country’s unique talent, creativity, diversity, and contemporary nature will surprise and delight the crowds and digital participants at Expo 2020 giving insight on how caring and entertaining people is part of New Zealand’s rich culture. The programme has been curated and developed by New Zealand-born choreographer Parris Goebel who has placed particular emphasis on dancers, singers and street artists with Māori and Pasifika roots.  One of New Zealand’s best-loved groups, Six60 was recently confirmed as part of the special line-up. The band gained recent international attention by being one of the first groups to play to large crowds in sold out stadiums, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Along with the support of youth, empowering women and promoting gender equality is another area where New Zealand will be showing Care for People and Place. As a country with a long-standing commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment, New Zealand will use its experience to lead a special event in conjunction with International Women’s Day in March called ChangemakeHER, which will see inspirational females from around the world share their tales, experiences, and learnings in the hopes of inspiring future female leaders.   The country will also curate a World Majlis at Expo 2020 to promote gender diversity working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in partnership with Australia.

New Zealand’s participation in Expo 2020 is supported by corporate sponsorship from a number of iconic New Zealand brands that are known as the Care Collective who each have their own approach to kaitiakitanga. 

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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