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New Zealand Story has launched a new film to help promote the country’s unique national values to global audiences and expand perceptions of New Zealand.

The three-minute high-impact film encapsulates the uniquely New Zealand perspective our nation offers global trading partners, consumers, visitors, students, migrants and workers –arming businesses, exporters and diplomatic leaders with an evolved, modern New Zealand narrative.

‘Aotearoa New Zealand, Our Story’ is directed by award-winning Rotorua filmmaker Mike Jonathan [Tainui, Te Arawa, Mātaatua] and “proudly celebrates the spirit of New Zealand’s Māori heritage” – with narration entirely in te reo by the film’s hero, 10-year-old Wiremu Kamariera.

New Zealand Story Group CEO David Downs says the film updates the ‘New Zealand story’ at a critical time of global reconnection when businesses need to promote their Kiwi attributes to the world. “New Zealand is a progressive nation of creative idea-makers delivering new solutions, while always caring for people and place. Our story is grounded in our values – and these have been reshaped with events over the past few years,” says Downs.

“This is New Zealand Story’s latest marketing tool designed to propel New Zealand’s brand and reputation internationally. Research into global perceptions of New Zealand reinforces that offshore audiences admire our embrace of te ao Māori. Cementing this ethos by working closely with Māori creatives was incredibly important to us as the government agency that markets New Zealand and our way of life to the world.”

Through extensive engagement with NZ Inc representatives, business leaders, iwi and Māori enterprise, four te ao Māori inspired values were developed and tested for resonance with businesses and consumers in nine international markets:

• Pōtikitanga: Our curious, ingenious and adventurous spirit.

• Tiaki: Our drive to care for people, place and planet for our future.

• Manaaki: We warmly welcome others and build relationships based on respect, care and reciprocity, and we build up the mana of others.

• Pono: Acting with integrity, honesty, and transparency.


Director Mike Jonathan says it was a privilege to lead the film’s creative direction that put te ao Māori front and centre. “In three beautifully crafted minutes, the film encapsulates the values that set our country apart and create interest offshore. I’m incredibly proud of my part in capturing the national strengths and values that reflect who we are, what we stand for and what we can offer the rest of the world,” says Jonathan.

The film is being promoted across New Zealand Story channels, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and is available free to export businesses for marketing and business development, and government agencies for trade missions and diplomatic relations. It replaces the original Open Story film.

The film will be launched in New Zealand in te reo Māori and is available worldwide in 14 languages.

Watch ‘Aotearoa New Zealand, Our Story’ at New Zealand Story (


Glenn Baker

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


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