Tourism New Zealand's 100% marketing campaign got another bagging in the press over the weekend. This time Professor Paul Moon, an historian at the Auckland University of Technology, points out that "the idea of natural purity does not come from nature. Rather, it is a human construct."
Moon joins a long line of critics in pointing out that, actually, our rivers and waterways are a bit of a mess and there's a great deal New Zealanders could do to improve our environment to get nearer to the 100% Pure claim. We've duped the world into thinking we're "clean and green", the argument goes.
The number of tourists visiting New Zealand in the first half of the year was up 10 per cent compared with the same period last year. The increased numbers are a tribute to the 100% campaign. Tourism New Zealand are selling the sizzle, not the ingredients swept up from the butcher's floor to make the sausage.
Should we do more to maintain and improve our environment? Of course (though I suspect Paul Moon might point out we're chasing a "human construct"). In the meantime, should our tourism industry put on the best shopfront it can manage? Absolutely.