100% Pure Fantasy? Living up to our brand

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Matt Stewart interviews some of the characters involved in developing, maintaining and debating New Zealand’s 100% Pure positioning, as he takes a look at Prime Minister John Key’s comparison of New Zealand’s global “100% Pure” tourism marketing campaign to a fast food ad.

“It’s like saying ‘McDonald’s, I’m lovin’ it’ – I’m not sure every moment that someone’s eating McDonald’s, they’re loving it . . . it’s the same thing with 100% Pure,” said the Prime Minister. “It’s got to be taken with a bit of a pinch of salt.”

As Stewart notes in 100% Pure Fantasy? Living up to our brand:

“In 2009, British environment writer Fred Pearce, writing in The Guardian, gave his “prize for the most shameless two fingers to the global community” to New Zealand, accusing this country of a “greenwash” for trading on an increasingly shaky notion of eco- credibility.

“In the latest stoush over the accuracy of 100% Pure, Dr Joy was pounced on by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser, who called his comments “deeply unhelpful”.

“In an email to Dr Joy titled “Ego Trip” (later leaked by Green Party co-leader Russel Norman), backroom government lobbyist Mark Unsworth labelled the environmental science lecturer a “traitor”, accusing him of sabotaging the tourism industry and national economy by airing the country’s dirty laundry in the international media.

“But the science behind Dr Joy’s statements seems to stack up – we are slipping.”

The full story features commentary from:

  • Rob Morrison, Chairman of green business lobby group Pure Advantage
  • Massey University freshwater ecologist Dr Mike Joy
  • Chief executive, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne (and former Wellington ad-man) Peter Biggs
  • Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden

Read the full story: 100% Pure Fantasy? Living up to our brand

About the author

Pure Advantage
Pure Advantage

Pure Advantage functions as both a generator and communicator of knowledge, undertaking and supporting a variety of green growth-focused research activities and outputs. Through this work, we seek to disseminate cutting-edge theory and practice that will transform how New Zealanders understand and manage the relationship between the environment and the economy.

We advocate for economic models that generate both profitability and positive social and environmental outcomes. In promoting these models we seek to uphold the ethical imperatives of impact investment while also dispelling any lingering misconceptions around wealth creation and environmental protection being contradictory goals.

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