A few months back Air New Zealand announced its partnership with the Department of Conservation, which is in keeping with the need DoC now has to align itself with the corporate sector and fill the financial void from ongoing budget cuts, and in keeping with Air New Zealand's continuing environmental push. And now it's launched a new website and video to be played on selected flights that implores Kiwis to head outside and take in some of New Zealand's Great Walks, which the airline is the sole sponsor of.
The video was made by Saatchi & Saatchi and features the track 'Sunsets' from Avalanche City. And as it says on the website: "Like most New Zealanders, we’re proud of our natural environment. We’re even in awe of it. We should probably also spend less time talking about it and more time actually wandering through it and breathing it all in. In that spirit, Air New Zealand has joined forces with the Department of Conservation to preserve and protect some of our country’s most inspiring natural locations. Right now our partnership is focused on New Zealand’s nine Great Walks. We’re helping to preserve and enhance their biodiversity. They’re places every Kiwi should try to experience in their lifetime."
The sponsorship deal, which is thought to be worth $3 million over three years, means Air New Zealand can offer travel and marketing support for new conservation programmes around the National Parks Great Walks network, as well as species translocations around the country and promotion of the Great Walks themselves.
Its marketing plans include development of flight and hut packages and high-end group experiences on conservation land, promotion through its million-strong frequent flyer database and significant local and international marketing and social media activity.
“The establishment of the Great Walks Biodiversity Partnership and the Air New Zealand Translocation Programme will see our two organisations come together to enhance and promote the sorts of things that make New Zealand unique,” said soon-to-depart chief executive Rob Fyfe at the time of the deal. “It will enable important conservation biodiversity projects to take place in the vicinity of the Great Walks and also help promote these gems in New Zealand’s natural tourism crown to domestic and international tourists like never before.”
DoC already has a number of commercial partners that help to fund some of its activities, with BNZ sponsoring kiwi, Genesis Energy sponsoring the whio, Mitre 10 sponsoring the takahe trust, Meridian sponsoring the Living Legends treeplanting scheme, Rio Tinto sponsoring the kakapo and many other regional partners. And, according to the Greens, which, unsurprisingly, isn't too happy about the funding cuts or the department's new 'Conservation for prosperity' strapline, Fonterra is also keen to get involved.