Environment

SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR NZ: Will you take the ‘Tiaki promise’ before you arrive?

Words by Matt Leedham
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Roys Peak, Wanaka. Tourism New Zealand

When you next travel to New Zealand you’ll be invited to take the ‘Tiaki’ pledge to care for the country’s unique land and environment during your stay.

‘Tiaki’ in Maori simply means “to guard or care for people and place.” Is it too much to ask visitors to be mindful of their actions while spending time in someone else’s home?

Kiwi’s don’t think so. And neither do we.

Here’s the Tiaki promise in full to take with you in your mental carry-on.

“While travelling in New Zealand I will care for land, sea and nature, treading lightly and leaving no trace. I will travel safely, by showing care and consideration for all and respecting culture by travelling with an open mind.”

The Tiaki Promise, New Zealand

What’s the issue?

New Zealand has seen huge tourism growth in the last decade, thanks in part to the successful Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Trilogies along with a sterling job done by Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand.

Like every tourist destination in the world, more visitors to New Zealand means more economic goodness, but the extra load is putting pressure on the country’s precious environment, people and infrastructure.

Freedom Campers are a big issue

In recent years, New Zealand has experienced challenges including inexperienced overseas visitors involved in road accidents as well as a rise in freedom campers (People camping for free wherever they like) triggering reports of poor visitor behaviour, littering and overcrowding.

2018 saw 3.8 million people visit the land of the long white cloud with visitor predicted to reach 5.1 million by 2024 – more than the current population of New Zealand.

Consequently, it’s crunch time for the tourism industry to take action for New Zealand’s sustainable future.

What’s the solution?

In a bid to change people’s mindsets, Tourism New Zealand recently launched a global goodwill campaign to get visitors thinking about their potential impact on the country ‘before they arrive’.

The gorgeous, visual campaign was created in multiple languages and is a simple charter or checklist for travellers to ‘think about’ when they are in New Zealand.

Tiaki is about urging people to remember the little things (like driving on the left of the road) as well as bigger ones (being kind to others and taking your trash with you).

What will the positive impact be?

By following the Tiaki Promise, visitors are making a commitment to New Zealand to; Drive carefully, be prepared, show respect, protect nature and keep NZ clean.

The hope is that travellers will take the ‘Tiaki mantra’ to heart and implement small actions on their trip to New Zealand that will make a big difference for everyone.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things”

Henry Miller

Find out more: https://tiakinewzealand.com

How can you travel to change the world?

Congratulations! By reading this post and taking some of these insights on board, you’ve already made a difference.

Now you can easily create your impact by sharing your new-found knowledge with other friends who you think would also be interested.

Ultimately, responsible travel comes down to common sense – stay curious, keep yourself up-to-date with the challenges at hand and make yourself accountable for your actions on your travels.

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