NZTE walks its talk and backs the locals with Special Group appointment

In an effort to consolidate its agency partners—and in a show of support for Kiwi-owned businesses—New Zealand Trade & Enterprise has appointed Special Group as its lead design and communications agency following a competitive pitch late last year. 

One of the first major pitches under the new all of government panel, it’s thought NZTE worked with as many as eight agencies previously, and while it’s not clear who was involved in the pitch, two of the bigger incumbents were Designworks and Strategy. 

“Playing a role in helping New Zealand’s most dynamic businesses internationally is really inspiring to Special as we are New Zealand entrepreneurs ourselves,” managing partner Michael Redwood said in a release. “The NZTE team are a super-smart group, and we’re looking forward to a successful partnership.” 

Redwood wasn’t able to comment further or discuss how much the account is worth, but given that it supported a number of different agencies beforehand, it’s likely to rank as one of Special Group’s biggest accounts (the agency recently launched its first major campaign for another sizeable recent win, 2degrees, and it’s thought it has hired a number of new staff, which are soon to be announced). 

Nick Swallow, who took over as NZTE director of marketing and brands around one year ago after around five years with AUT, says Special’s appointment is part of its ongoing commitment to “delivering our programmes [like Beachheads and Better by Design]and supporting New Zealand companies offshore in as powerful and effective a way possible”.

“They really impressed us with their pitch and we’re excited to be working with them,” he says in the release. 

NZTE, unlike fellow public entities and initiatives like Tourism New Zealand, ATEED or The New Zealand Story, isn’t so focused on showing off the country. It’s very much a B2B message, so Special Group will be working closely with NZTE on the programmes and events that help Kiwi businesses accelerate their success overseas, which means there won’t be too much demand for traditional advertising. 

NZTE also works with design firm Hawkins&Co. 

And in case you were wondering where New Zealand’s exports now get sent off to in comparison to 100 years ago, this clip shows you. 

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