A contract for "the New Zealand Story" - the Government's campaign to promote the country internationally - has been given to a largely Australian design agency - Principals.

Designers Institute of New Zealand chief executive Cathy Veninga says several NZe agencies would have been able to do the job - and would have been more appropriate than an Australian firm.

Almost 30 submissions were made for the contract from other companies.

Brian Richards, an Auckland designer who was a finalist for the contract, said the public should be outraged that the New Zealand Story would be told by Australians.

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"The Prime Minister is in Hollywood is wooing storytellers with tax incentives to operate here quoting, 'It's about jobs for New Zealanders' and his minister [Steven] Joyce, at the same moment, is giving work to Australians," says Richards.

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