Are we quaint or cool —
Is this antipodean paradise a new Euronesia?

Beware of the “Backslapping Kiwis”. I'm conscious of national jingoism, now very much rampant in Australia and something that we as New Zealanders run the risk of the same self-congratulatory optimism. Iceland and Ireland both fell deeply in love with their own image, which skewed their judgement in the renewal of their economy, two very recent disastrous outcomes. I don't believe that Californian style optimism necessarily suits us, and so there is a need to become capable of expressing things in a global context.

 David Trubridge sling lounge chair

David Trubridge sling lounge chair

 Jamie McLellan Kayak

Jamie McLellan Kayak

 Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki

For me what comes after the All Blacks is an intriguing question in understanding our nationality going forward. There’s a tad to much self-anointing going on in many of our industries, which aren’t always globally benchmarked. I believe we should not talk about transforming New Zealand, but rather transforming New Zealand companies, into world-class businesses providing unique products and services in high demand.

“Euronesia” as yet hasn't been seen by anyone and our interpretation of what this means should be a question for our strategists, designers and planners to solve. We need to come of age and discover this antipodean specialness in a cultural, business and creative perspective.

As a strategist for years I have been interested in this topic often speaking about these crossroads and wondering when they will present themselves. Few people understand our point of difference until they live in Frankfurt or New York when their hankering for things kiwi sets in. Our creativity is yet to kick in to the mainstream of our industries and lifestyle. It is already being demanded by people living elsewhere, who see something here in us, we cannot see ourselves.

We are no longer quaint, we are cool.