Our Exceptional Nature — A World Leading Brand

Cast adrift on the world’s edge, New Zealand’s unique blend of plants, creatures and striking landscapes lay untouched for most of human history. Today this ‘land apart’ offers the perfect counterpoint to our hurried world. A place for New Zealanders and visitors to delight in nature’s cleverness and raw beauty. An opportunity to feed the spirit, enjoy simple pleasures, find kinship and return refreshed.

For most New Zealanders, nature leaves an early imprint.

The sensory fascination of things like rock pools, dew-lined spiders webs, the musty embrace of the Bush, or a Tui in full song, stay etched on our memories. In the pace of modern day life, some of us drift away. Given the opportunity to reconnect with nature, we soon realise that the best enjoyment can often be found in nature’s realm, doing simple things with friends, family or just alone. 

It is a priceless legacy we inherit, a unique natural environment. 

It is imprinted on our national identity. It drives our global reputation and we all share a responsibility to preserve and enhance this legacy for future generations to appreciate and actively enjoy. For 700 years our natural surroundings have shaped us and we have shaped them. Nature has sometimes come off second best. My only hope is that we will have a change of national heart and share a well informed responsibility to work together to improve our nature estate. Just as nature evolves so do we as a nation. 

We need to harness our natural assets and use them wisely and imaginatively to prosper.

We have to think creatively as to how we will do this. Balancing interests of business and individuals who depend on the nature estate for their livelihoods. New Zealand's unique environment is far too valuable to trade for short-term gains. We should be open to progressive ideas building a new kind of sustainable advantage.

Our nature is a cornerstone advantage, for most of us it's a large part of why we like to live here and why people choose to visit our shores. For Maori, appreciation and connection is embedded. It is especially important that we look to create specific new opportunities with Maori and their communities.

The range of individuals, organisations, communities, businesses, local and central government bodies with an interest in the conservation status is large. Some have competing interests and there is a urgent need to listen carefully and build a two way mutual understanding making astute and sometimes difficult decisions.

Our nature lies at the heart of our identity, it is the backdrop to our lives

and the foreground of our New Zealand culture. We owe it to future generations to give them the same opportunity to enjoy our nature as we do. Our natural environment impacts on our collective future. Every one of our Primary Industries depends on it and we need to demand of them greater creativity and efforts in learning how to sell less for more.

The world will be watching our authenticity and at present we have an enormous vote of confidence. The natural advantage is that psychic premium in all of our food, beverage products and tourist experiences. Sadly however, we are still seduced by volume versus value and many of the premiums possible are never realised through poor product development and colloquial marketing behaviour. I believe the world is quite comfortable to pay more. 

The more people are removed from nature the more they are prepared to pay for it.

Just check out the price of sushi in the Bronx. It's this advantage which needs to be carefully thought through in doing it well.