Around 85 million years ago, when New Zealand broke away from Gondwana, it created an isolated an environment where a unique assortment of plant and animal life could evolve into species that aren't found anywhere else in the world. What this means is that today 80 percent of all the flora and 71 percent of all the bird species found here are endemic to New Zealand, in turn creating a massive opportunity for the tourism industry.
Air New Zealand is well aware of how integral this environment is in terms of attracting tourists to New Zealand, which is evidenced by the airline throwing its weight behind the Department of Conservation (DOC) in recent years (the partnership is worth about $1 million annually).
And this partnership continued last week with the release of a new video clip by creative agency True promoting the partnership between the airline and the conservation organisation.
This spot follows on from the recent move by Google to track New Zealand's Great Trails of Abel Tasman, Milford, Kepler, Waikaremoana, Heaphy, Routeburn and Rakiura/Stewart Island with its 360-degree Google Trekker camera.
This means that viewers can now virtually experience each of the trails through Google Street View.
Air New Zealand's promotion of DOC’s Great Walk programme has led to a 31 percent increase in people staying at huts and campsites along the nine walking tracks.
Since kicking off its partnership with DOC in 2012, Air New Zealand has helped the environmental organisation relocate 1,600 native species, while promoting tourism of New Zealand’s wildlife by helping DOC open nine walking tracks around the country. The airline has also helped protect native species by implementing pest control across 800ha of conservation land on the Milford Track, laying 50kms of stoat trapping lines on the Routeburn Track, and 600 rat traps on the Rakiura Track on Stewart Island.
Helping protect New Zealand wildlife isn’t the only thing Air New Zealand is doing. The airline is also researching ways to reduce its carbon footprint and has outlined plans to reduce net emissions by 50 percent compared to the 2005 level.
It also aims to conserve fuel by reducing the aircrafts’ weight, and use new technologies such as aerodynamic winglet tips, and is also looking into using alternative plant-based biofuels.
Air New Zealand also invested in the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which uses 20 percent less fuel than other aeroplanes.
By 2050, the airline aims to reduce its net emissions by 50 percent compared to the 2005 level.
The airline announced in September that it would extend its partnership with DOC to 2020.
In activating its sponsorships, Air New Zealand often takes quite a creative approach and has become one of the standout examples in the local market.
This was again recently evidenced in the use of the All Blacks in its latest safety video, and also previously with the various Lord of the Rings and Hobbit campaigns the airline had launched.
*Correction: this article previously incorrectly stated that the video shows students from Hillcrest Normal School travelling to Nelson to experience one of DOC’s Great Walk trails. The school was, in fact, involved in a separate initiative – the Virtual Great Walker competition.