British Press Slam New Zealand for its 100% Pure BS

100% pure NZ BS

British press calls BS on NZ’s 100% pure claim

The British press have had a field day with New Zealand’s shattered 100% pure brand image.

If the rot set in with Steven Sakur comprehensively dismantling John Key in the BBC’s Hardtalk interview the branch fell off the tree during the ‘botulism in baby milk’ cock-up. Both events were PR nightmares for a country that wants us to believe that it is Middle Earth and fantasy is reality

First, the Chinese press weighed in with its “festering sore” comment, now the British media are having their say. They’re not pulling their punches either.

The Mail Online, mouthpiece for Middle England, heads its article

New Zealand’s green claims are pure manure: Country’s food scares and poor environmental record at odds with ‘100% Pure’ slogan

Then gets right to the point with

For a country that markets itself to the world with the slogan ‘100% Pure’, New Zealand’s environmental credentials are not as impeccable as many would think.
The majority of its rivers are too polluted to swim in. Its record on preservation of natural environments is among the worst in the world on a per capita basis.
And it is the only OECD country that does not produce a regular national report on its environment.

Damning words, but honest enough.

But New Zealand doesn’t need to produce reports, it rests on the laurels of its 100% pure image and charges a premium for anyone who wants to buy into its “quality product”, a product which is about as substantial as the new threads on the Emperor’s back. And as about transparent.

Agricultural exports, including dairy, meat, fruit and wine, command high premiums internationally thanks to New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of safe, natural and high-quality food.
‘It was only a matter of time before our dirty little secret came out,’ said Jill Brinsdon, brand strategist at Radiation, a brand agency in Auckland.
‘Fonterra is our largest exporter and they’re completely intertwined with New Zealand’s image and also they’re the absolute biggest benefactor of the “100% Pure” brand.
‘When you’re coming out with something that presents itself as fact, or 100 per cent pure, then you have to be 100 per cent pure and we’ve proven that we’re not.’

The article is a good and touches on many of the issues we’ve raised in this blog. Read the rest of it here:

So is it time to retire a brand that once was once a market leader and is now a laughing stock?

The answer is a resounding yes, put it out of its misery.

Here’s a sample of the comments left on the article’s web page

I live in the Bay, sunny all year, open skies, green fields, beautiful sweeping rivers…which I avoid like the plague in summer because they literally stink from all the agricultural wash off and water theft. In fact many boating activities are held in a river which is under an almost year round ‘Do Not Enter’ classification. It looks pretty, but it ain’t!
– Siomac, Hastings, New Zealand, 7/8/2013 8:44

It’s true. I live here and it isn’t the wonderful paradise everyone thinks it is. The cost of living is extremely high, houses are mouldy, cold and poorly built and as the article correctly states, NZ isn’t as clean or green as it thinks it is. I live very close to two beaches here in Auckland but the water quality is poor enough for authorities to warn against consuming shellfish at the aforementioned beaches. Don’t believe the hype about NZ! It is over-rated and over-priced.
– Majortom, Auckland, 7/8/2013 7:47

The two things that amaze me about NZ – youngsters in cars are quite happy to throw all their takeaway rubbish, including bottles, out of car windows, & some adults are happy to dump their unwanted furniture etc., by the side of the road! I should know, I drive past it all regularly enough, & no, we’re not talking just about cities, but in the rural areas too!!
– Andy1, Christchurch, 7/8/2013 7:36

What a crock. 60% of our rivers are braided over gravel and only about a foot deep, so you can’t swim in them anyway. Wendy asks why there are signs in Auckland telling people not to spit in the rubbish bins; that’s because 20% of Aucklanders are Chinese, and disgusting practices like that are second nature to them.
– newt , Wellington, New Zealand, 08/8/2013 02:08

Just some classic NZ bashing get stuck in people, the good thing about being a Kiwi is that its actually no skin off our nose what the rest of the grubby world thinks. If you don’t like it leave or don’t visit, plenty of other people will come and have great times and those are the people we want. NZ Proud xx
– Wimpossible , London, United Kingdom, 07/8/2013 16:00

New Zealand has perpetuated a myth of professionalism and modernization for years. Its only when you get here you see the country for what it is. A second world country wanting to be a first world one. It reminds me of a younger brother walking in his big brother’s boots.The country has a small population (slightly smaller than Scotland) in a country slightly bigger than the UK. Outside the main centres there is a lot of space. It also has a lot of regulations but few to enforce them giving the impression of competency.It is a nation of technicians, professionals have long since fled leaving the slack to be taken up by those that cant leave. Every country has warts and New Zealand is no exception. The country has many plus points but it must stop kidding itself on being Godsone and grow up. These are my observations and opinions based on 9 years of residency. We’re here for the foreseeable future but would be disappointed if our children settled here to be honest.
– Jeezoh, Hamilton, 7/8/2013 14:06

You may also like:

Fonterra’s Cost Cutting

“…Editor of Dairy Exporter Magazine, Glenys Christian, says farmers fear $60 million worth of cost cutting by Fonterra has led to a drop in maintenance standards at the company’s processing plants.

“Farmers are going to ask, when they are required to take such strong measures on their farms to make sure that their milk gets to Fonterra’s processing facilities in the best possible condition, why could something like this happen?” Ms Christian said.”

Mike Joy: The dying myth of a clean, green Aotearoa :The cost of ignoring a festering sore

4 thoughts on “British Press Slam New Zealand for its 100% Pure BS

  1. I’ve fished the south islands rivers and streams for over 40 years. Many are so degraded by agricultural runoff that not only are the fish gone but you can’t even have contact with the water without risk. It’s a disgrace that 60% of our east coast waterways are to dirty to swim in and even though there are still fish in many of them I would never eat them. It’s the profits of the few (farmrrs) at the expense if the rest of us.

  2. After living in NZ for 4 years. I can confirm that the 100% Pure Green advertising slogan for NZ is pure rubbish. Once you live in NZ for a while, you understand that the rivers are largely polluted, unsafe to swim in or fish from. The pollution is largely from industrial scale farming over many decades. The NZ economy is primarily dependent on farming & as a result NZ farmers have had next to no restrictions on their farming practices & have allowed their livestock to pollute rivers, lakes throughout New Zealand. European tourists visiting NZ believe the 100% Pure Green propaganda for NZ because they visit NZ & see no large scale industrial factories/industries as in Europe. However, they are simply being fooled into believing that New Zealand is some green friendly Utopia, this is simply smoke screen & propaganda.

    • The weird thing is, people look at you funny in New Zealand when you make the things you eat and drink safer with proper cooking or boiling.

      Almost as if the national identity is tied up in not questioning the safety of stuff you put in your own body.

      I did get told “oh, you only need to boil the water in Asia because their supplies aren’t properly purified”.

      I ignore that kind of confidence, because my body is my responsibility … and if I am cooking, eating and drinking for myself … I prepare it the way I find safest – everywhere in the world.

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