There is a great deal of talk these days of branding – no less in New Zealand, the home of the Hobbit.
New Zealand has promoted itself as 100% pure. Unfortunately, the Guardian’s environmental blog Greenwash reports, it has been increasing its greenhouse gas emissions. Reports are that they have increased 22% since 1990. The Economist (“It’s Not Easy Seeming Green” a backlash to New Zealand’s vow of purity, March 23, 2010, the Economist online) notes the response:
To this, Prime Minister John Key responded, “bollocks”.
Apparently New Zealand has been planting trees to absorb the results of high car ownership per capita and a certain unmentionable problem with methane production.
But of course it’s more complicated. One of the most difficult problems of the modern world involves the shipping of food around the world. Food represents 40% of New Zealand’s exports. “In many ways, the dilemma New Zealand faces is no different to that of other rich countries – how to balance economic growth with the need to address environmental degradation,” comments the Economist. That and the need to connect the brand with reality.