New Zealand Disappears From World Maps, and a Viral Video Is Born

It should be there — right next to Australia.

But New Zealand has disappeared from the world’s maps. The country — home to 4.7 million people — has been left off charts displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, the Central Park Zoo, Ikea and Starbucks.

Fear not: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is on the case, if only reluctantly. A new video, created by the government’s tourism department and featuring both Ms. Ardern and the country’s trademark deadpan humor, has gone viral, racking up thousands of views by Friday just days after going online.

It is the latest in a series of videos created by New Zealand government agencies and advocacy groups that use comedy to discuss sometimes-serious topics including racism, drunken driving and homophobia.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular.

The Message: With sly references to New Zealand’s world-famous rugby team and wine industry, Ms. Ardern and the comedian Rhys Darby investigate a “conspiracy.” Produced by Tourism New Zealand, the message is clear: Visit New Zealand.

Released: May 2018

Best line: “We’re quite a fiddly looking shaped country, like a half-eaten lamb chop,” says Mr. Darby, who also calls the prime minister “Cindy” and “Your Highness.”

The message: In this public service announcement, New Zealand’s transport agency has a young man imagine the consequences of allowing a friend to drive drunk.

Released: 2011

Best line: When the ghost of a dead friend keeps offering him chips, the young man responds, “You know I can’t grab your ghost chips.” The phrase has become a popular meme in New Zealand, often seen on T-shirts.

The message: A group of New Zealand farmers discuss the appropriate use of the word “gay” in this video, the first national ad campaign by the advocacy organization Rainbow Youth.

Released: October 2017

Best line: “Look bro, unless that pie is a man who loves another man, it’s not gay,” says one farmer after his friend drops his lunch on the ground.

The message: The director Taika Waititi pushes New Zealand’s deadpan satire to its limit in this video for the government’s Human Rights Commission. Parodying a charity fund-raising and awareness campaign, Mr. Waititi urges viewers to give “just a tiny bit” to racism, which, he says, won’t survive without their help.

Released: June 2017

Best line: “You might not want to wear a T-shirt that says how much of a racist you are. No thanks! I’m racist on the inside,” Mr. Waititi says.

The message: In this ad for new recruits, the New Zealand police force attempts to showcase its diversity and its relationships with local communities as its officers run, jump and roll their way through the city in pursuit of a thief.

The ad, however, was controversial in some quarters. Critics said the images of “funny, running cops” did not accurately reflect the relationship between the police and minority groups.

Released: November 2017

Best moment: When an officer pauses a pursuit to help an elderly man cross the street and is inexplicably joined by a dancer with a boom box.

Loading...

Related posts

Comment(3,328)

Comments are closed.

3,328 Comments