Go to:

Steven Joyce

6 November, 2013

NZ Story to assist Kiwi firms in overseas markets

The Government today launched the ‘New Zealand Story’ which will help companies gain competitive advantage by building a strong, consistent profile for New Zealand exporters in international markets.

The ‘New Zealand Story’ was first outlined in the Building Export Markets progress report in August 2012 as part of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda, and received initial baseline funding of $1 million plus a further $2 million in May as part of Budget 2013.

“Many smaller businesses in particular have been calling for a New Zealand Story that explains what New Zealand has to offer and what makes us unique,” Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“When New Zealand exporters first go out into the world or visit a new market, they need something which places New Zealand and their business into context.  We are a small country, and often outsiders don’t understand who we are, how innovative we are, and what drives us as a country.”
“This initiative is about broadening the perception of New Zealand internationally, beyond the scenic beauty of the country to include attributes like our innovation and resourcefulness, our unique Māori culture, our integrity and our welcoming friendly approach.

“The brief was to generate a compelling, but authentic, story which will differentiate New Zealand from other countries and showcase what we have to offer around the world.

“It’s not about replacing Tourism New Zealand’s 100 per cent pure branding. That has been a remarkable success and will continue to be at the heart of our international tourism brand.”

The ‘New Zealand Story’ was developed over the last year with extensive input from leaders in the primary sector, manufacturing, wider government, services, export education and Māori, and was tested in six key and emerging markets. In total, 200 people from 40 organisations in New Zealand and overseas were consulted.

“The New Zealand Story package will include video, key messages, photos, music and guidelines for use. The elements that we’re launching today will bring the story to life right across our export sectors.  They are based on our core values – our warmth and friendliness, our kaitiaki (care of people and place); integrity; and resourcefulness,” Mr Joyce says.

“While New Zealand’s reputation scores well across these attributes, we need to keep telling our story in order to fill the gap between people’s understanding of New Zealand and the positioning required to ensure the world ‘buys’ from New Zealand.”

To view the ‘New Zealand Story’ video visit: http://story.newzealand.com/

Questions and Answers

Why do we need a New Zealand Story?
This project is about delivering a New Zealand Story that helps us communicate our distinct and unique attributes to international audiences around the world.  It is designed to support New Zealand exporters in growing their businesses and therefore contribute to the Business Growth Agenda target of moving export earnings from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP.

While New Zealand’s reputation scores well across a range of attributes, there is an opportunity to sharpen the many qualities we need to highlight.  There is a gap between the understanding of New Zealand by international audiences and the ideal positioning required to ensure the world ‘buys’ (visits/products/services/migration)  New Zealand.

Do businesses really want a New Zealand story?
Exporters and Government agencies are very supportive of this concept.  The need to tell a broader story for New Zealand internationally has been identified by both public and private sectors. This is a long-term initiative and requires a close partnership between government and the private sector.

What is the New Zealand Story?
The core idea of the New Zealand Story is that New Zealand is Open to the New. Our invitation to the world is: “Welcome to the country of open spaces, open hearts and open minds”.

We have created a toolkit of resources that will be available through story.newzealand.com – this includes key messages, imagery, video, music, and guidelines for use.  These resources will be made available to the private and public sector.

Companies, universities, the public sector can use these resources to help tell the New Zealand story as it applies to them and their business objectives. We envisage they will be used in different ways by different people, however with that same overall story.

What funding has been provided for the development of the NZ story, and where did it come from?
In the last financial year 2012/13, an initial $1 million came from the baseline budgets of the lead agencies, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Tourism New Zealand and Education New Zealand.

In this year’s Budget an additional $2 million in new funding to launch the New Zealand Story project was announced. This funding forms part of the $400 million internationally focused growth package which is a centrepiece of Budget 2013.

This financial year, the wider New Zealand Story Group - Tourism New Zealand (TNZ), Education New Zealand (ENZ), Te Puni Kokiri (TPK), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) – will collectively contribute $1.5 million from baseline budgets.

From the next financial year (2014/15), the indicative annual budget is $2.3 million, which will be funded from baseline of the governing agencies named above.

What has the funding been spent on?

  • A research report based on interviews with New Zealanders representing businesses from the food and beverage, manufacturing, tourism, education, and other industries; public agencies; Maori; Ministers; sports organisations; and New Zealanders based overseas, that brought together a shared view of who we are, what we stand for, and the strengths we want to reflect internationally.
  • Creative work by Principals Agency,  in conjunction with a smaller group of private and public sector  business people and marketers, to develop the initial story elements.
  • A review of these initial elements by international partners and customers, to check alignment – does how we see ourselves ring true with others? What is relevant about our story internationally? 
  • Refining the story elements in response to this feedback.
  • Development and delivery of a tool kit that can be used by Government and companies including a video about New Zealand, imagery and key messages.
  • Promotion of the story to exporters and to ensure the assets we create are managed and protected.

Who has done the work so far?
The lead agencies, Tourism NZ, NZTE, and Education NZ, have worked with a mixed private and public sector reference group throughout this process, representing export businesses from the food and beverage, manufacturing, tourism, education, and other industries; public agencies; Maori; sports organisations; and New Zealanders based overseas.

Who has been involved?
The development of the New Zealand story has been through a series of collaborate private and public sector workshops.   Participants have included CEOs and General Managers from a range of private sector companies including Air New Zealand, AUT University, Comvita, Fonterra, New Zealand Rugby, Zespri, Silver Fern Farms, 2 Degrees, Craggy Range.

Regular feedback has also been sought from the Export Ministers group and the wider public and private sector including:

  • MPI
  • MFAT
  • DOC
  • DOL
  • MCH
  • MBIE
  • MSI
  • NZQA
  • Customs
  • TPK
  • Primary sector bootcamp
  • Business NZ CEO Forum
  • Export NZ Advisory Board
  • Māori Trustee
  • NZ Māori Tourism
  • Federation of Māori Authorities
  • Whalewatch Kaikoura
  • Te Wānanga o Aotearoa


100% Pure is already a successful brand – what will the NZ story bring to this?
The New Zealand story presents a broader view of who we are and what we stand for.

The objective of the New Zealand Story is to communicate our distinct and unique attributes to audiences around the world and help New Zealand companies gain competitive advantage in international markets. 

It’s not about replacing Tourism New Zealand’s 100% Pure branding. That has been a remarkable success and will continue to be at the heart of our international tourism brand.

How will the story be managed?
This is a long-term project, and needs to be a partnership between public and private sector.

The New Zealand Story Group will be responsible for the New Zealand Story and comprises an advisory board, an operational management team within NZTE, and New Zealand Way Limited.

The role of the advisory board is to govern the New Zealand Story Group and is accountable to the Minister for Economic Development and Minister of Trade. 

The advisory board will be led by a private sector chair, who has still to be appointed, and will include the Chief Executives of NZTE, Tourism NZ, Education NZ, Te Puni Kokiri, MFAT, and the Ministry for Primary Industries; along with three private sector representatives. 

  • Steven Joyce
  • Economic Development