123

Kiwi Cultural Code #3: a holistic connection to nature

  • Voices
  • July 4, 2018
  • Colleen Ryan
Kiwi Cultural Code #3: a holistic connection to nature

Kiwi’s connection to nature is truly a special thing that remains resilient despite the influence of a changing world and the impact on our priorities and potential alternative experiences.

But the world and our lives are changing and the result has been a more overtly holistic aspect to Kiwi’s connection with nature. The desire to be close to nature drives cultural currents such as mindfulness, wellbeing and unplugging, which means that brands that understand this deep-seated Kiwi cultural code have the opportunity to reach New Zealanders more deeply and profoundly than ever before.

Where connecting with nature used to be primarily a physical challenge, today it serves emotional, spiritual and social functions more evenly. And these dimensions create different tensions that require different solutions. The core tension is that Kiwis fear a loss of connection with the environment which can play out in many ways – care for the environment, a sense of ownership, our legacy through our children, and a conduit for human connection and reconnection.

Though we feel this connection intuitively, we see it confirmed in what people say. DOC’s data shows that 85 percent of Kiwis say that connecting with nature improves their lives, and Statistics New Zealand’s general social survey (GSS) shows that people give a score of 9.1 out of 10 for the importance of ‘natural scenery and environment’ in their lives (this shares top spot with ‘freedom, rights and peace’ – a lofty partner with whom to share the podium).

1. Spiritual connection leads to a sense of ownership

Kiwis may now feel that nature is there more to be enjoyed than physically conquered, but the spiritual connection still runs deep which gives us a sense of ownership. A recent news story about a family unable to book one of the Great Walks has raised debate about whether New Zealanders should get first rights to booking oversubscribed walks. Yes, we get that they are one of the draw cards for visitors and, yes, we get that tourism is a source of income for the country and a significant contributor to employment – but how much are we willing to share if it limits our own access?

Care for the environment is linked to this idea – do Kiwis take better care than visitors? Freedom camping is seen as a fundamental right for Kiwis, but visitors weren’t brought up the same way, they didn’t acquire the unwritten behavioural codes as children and that creates tensions.

New Zealanders believe that the natural environment is deteriorating and while we may not have the chance to enjoy our country’s natural beauty as much as we’d like, Kiwis are anxious to see that it is protected for future generations. The recent ‘Keep New Zealand Beautiful’ campaign successfully talks to this, putting the problem to New Zealanders to solve or at least giving them a part to play. However, people also believe that business has a big role to play in ensuring our great outdoors survives for generations to come, giving companies a clear mandate to get involved to connect with nature and thereby with Kiwis.

2. Connecting to nature is also about social connection

In DOC’s survey one of the main reasons (70% of people) for using recreational areas was spending time with family and friends. The image of the solitary southern man conquering Aoraki/Mount Cook has been replaced in people’s minds with friends getting off the grid and enjoying each other’s company, of parents sharing knowledge and behavioural codes with their children, of intimate unrushed conversations, even of struggles through adversity bonding people in shared experiences.

The Air New Zealand and DOC video ‘Golly what a day’ is a prime example. And of course the associated activity supporting the video shows not just individual children enjoying the great outdoors but also how they interact and share their experiences. It’s what every Kiwi parent dreams of for their kids.

Southern Cross Health Society is another example to hit this note with their ‘Take Back Life’ idea. The story champions the importance of stepping out of our busy lives to connect and engage with nature and with the important people in our lives. By aligning the two they capture the social and emotional benefits of this embedded Kiwi code.

3. Emotional connection

One of the reasons connection with nature surfaces so highly with Kiwis is that we fear loss of connection. More people live in urban environments (73 percent) which makes them fear emotional distance to nature. But it’s a broader sense of the way we live not just where we live that disturbs us and that is often expressed as shortage of time (77 percent of people say that is the biggest barrier to making more use of recreational areas) and people feel that one of the reasons is excessive use of screen time.

A direct appeal to the emotional FOMO that Kiwi’s feel is seen in the McDonalds TVC ‘Timeless’. 

Through our work talking to Kiwis we saw that the highest peak of emotional FOMO was with parents. Parents genuinely fear that their children are not as connected with nature as their generation was, and that this atavistic connection may be lost in the next generation. The McDonalds ad speaks directly to this using nostalgia as an extra turn of the dial. Nostalgia isn’t the only way to signal that you get this code but it is certainly one effective trope specifically because we fear our children don’t have the connection we have.

4. Connection to nature is still about getting dirty

Although the holistic model of connection to nature brings in social, spiritual and emotional components, there is still a physical element and there is some good work being done that relates to the idea of action and physical challenge.

Toyota’s partnership with DOC encouraging families to get outdoors and take advantage of 11 new and easy ways to access Toyota Kiwi Guardians sites is a great example of showing who you are as a brand by what you do. It’s about supporting kids to engage their senses, take risks and earn themselves a medal in the outdoors. It’s about getting outside into nature, reducing time indoors and in front of screens.

Another similar initiative is Wild Eyes: learn nature ninja skills, get crafty, hunt poo and discover amazing stuff outdoors.

What all these examples demonstrate is a deep-seated understanding of what is important to New Zealanders – not at a superficial level. We aren’t talking about picture postcard views of the scenery, that might work for tourists but not for Kiwis. Nor is it the stereotypical man conquering nature, the tough rugged Kiwi losing himself in the wilderness.

It is about engaging with a much more nuanced and holistic sense of wellbeing through connection with nature – and specifically with our own nature, our unique Kiwi version that we own and have a common love for. Because that’s what a cultural code is. It’s how we know we’re from the same place without having to say anything.

  • The Kiwi Cultural Codes was a collaborative project between TRA and True. 
  • Colleen Ryan, head of strategy at TRA.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Preserving Egypt's heritage: how a New Zealander is using VR to take people on a tour through the tombs

  • Advertising
  • July 16, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Preserving Egypt's heritage: how a New Zealander is using VR to take people on a tour through the tombs

The man behind what’s been dubbed ‘the world’s most realistic VR’ is earning worldwide acclaim for his hyper-realistic VR cinematography. Now, Simon Che de Boer’s latest release, Nefertari: Journey to Eternity, takes viewers up close-and-personal in VR to an ancient civilisation that’s not experienced in many people’s lifetimes: Nefertari’s tomb in Egypt. This plays right into the passion driving Che de Boer’s work – to document heritage sites so they’re preserved digitally for years to come.

Read more

Josh Borthwick joins Stuff as commercial director

  • Advertising
  • July 16, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Josh Borthwick joins Stuff as commercial director

Stuff has announced Josh Borthwick will be joining the team as commercial director - agency and direct.

Read more
features

The Hot List winners: content marketer

Back for another year, NZ Marketing has selected the best of the bunch in the media business. While the editorial team put their heads together to figure out who and what came out on top for the judges' choice, our avid StopPress readers with their fingers on the pulse cast 11,293 votes to decide the People's Choice winners.

topics
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...

Businesses celebrate Matariki

  • Advertising
  • July 13, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Businesses celebrate Matariki

We take a look at how New Zealand businesses are marking the Māori New Year.

Read more

Drive VR: The ‘world’s first’ virtual reality drivers test has parked up in New Zealand

  • Design
  • July 13, 2018
  • Idealog
Drive VR: The ‘world’s first’ virtual reality drivers test has parked up in New Zealand

The ‘world’s first’ virtual reality drivers test is here thanks to a collaboration between Government agencies ACC and the NZ Transport Agency - and external partners Strategy Creative, Mixt Studio, and Flying Saucer - which aims to help young people become confident capable drivers. The project launched in July last year, and has since sparked a 30 percent increase in people signing up on the Drive platform, with more than 30,000 sign ups and almost half a million total users who’ve completed 52,000 online road code chapter tests between them. So, could it see the end of traditional drivers tests?

Read more
voices
news

RNZ on the rise: latest survey shows an increased audience while government increases funding—UPDATED

Radio New Zealand has plenty to celebrate this week as the latest round of GfK radio survey results showing it reaches 682,700 New Zealanders (10+) each week, while the government is giving it $4.5 million directly as well as further budget with NZ On Air. PLUS: A look at what other local media think of RNZ+.

Ian Howard steps into managing director role of Little Giant

  • Advertising
  • July 12, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Ian Howard steps into managing director role of Little Giant

Little Giant has appointed Ian Howard to the newly created position of managing director.

Read more

Radio Hauraki advocates pies and beers for July

  • Advertising
  • July 12, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Radio Hauraki advocates pies and beers for July

Poking fun at the Dry July fundraiser campaign, Radio Hauraki is encouraging Kiwis to get behind its own initiative: ‘Beer and Pie July’.

Read more
features

The Hot List winners: film/TV production company, digital production company

Back for another year, NZ Marketing has selected the best of the bunch in the media business. While the editorial team put their heads together to figure out who and what came out on top for the judges' choice, our avid StopPress readers with their fingers on the pulse cast 11,293 votes to decide the People's Choice winners.

features

The Hot List winners: drama, factual, SVOD, news and current affairs

Back for another year, NZ Marketing has selected the best of the bunch in the media business. While the editorial team put their heads together to figure out who and what came out on top for the judges' choice, our avid StopPress readers with their fingers on the pulse cast 11,293 votes to decide the People's Choice winners.

PHD Group's senior leadership team has a new lineup

  • Movings/Shakings
  • July 12, 2018
  • StopPress Team
PHD Group's senior leadership team has a new lineup
Lee-Ann Morris, Nikki Grafton, Dallas Gurney, Christophe Spencer.

PHD and Spark PR & Activate have seen a suite of changes to its senior leadership team, with Nikki Grafton, Lee-Ann Morris, Christophe Spencer and Dallas Gurney all moving up.

Read more
features

The Hot List winners: TV channel, reality show and TV host

Back for another year, NZ Marketing has selected the best of the bunch in the media business. While the editorial team put their heads together to figure out who and what came out on top for the judges' choice, our avid StopPress readers with their fingers on the pulse cast 11,293 votes to decide the People's Choice winners.

Are we automating discrimination?

  • Voices
  • July 11, 2018
  • Katy Holden
Are we automating discrimination?

Let’s face it, humans have been known to make some highly questionable decisions. It’s no wonder ostensibly infallible artificial intelligence that promises to remove our human margin of error has been seeping into every industry by osmosis, ours being no exception. But interested parties should proceed with caution.

Read more

Movings/Shakings: 10 July

  • Movings/Shakings, brought to you by Marsden Inch
  • July 10, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Movings/Shakings: 10 July

Industry happenings at Snapdragon Media, The Commercial Communications Council and Radio New Zealand.

Read more

A preview of the 2018 Marketing issue of NZ Marketing magazine

  • Gratuitous self-promotion
  • July 10, 2018
  • StopPress Team
A preview of the 2018 Marketing issue of NZ Marketing magazine

With NZ Marketing's 2018 Media issue out in the hands of our readers, it's time to get stuck into the 2018 Marketing issue. The issue will focus on some of the tremendous complexities facing today’s marketers, providing thought-leadership, expert opinion and insights into latest trends across the industry. Take a look at some of the areas our writers will cover.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit