A former Te Puke High School student is among those leading the charge to encourage Kiwis to see their own country.
Ocean Mead - formerly Ocean Belcher - left the high school in 2006 at 16 and is now working for Tourism New Zealand.
''I wasn't particularly enthused by school to be honest,'' she says, ''I felt like I didn't really fit the mould and wanted to be out in the outdoors and do creative things that weren't necessarily offered at school then. So I went through the motions of doing my school subjects.''
She says she left because she was ready to ''break out of that''.
''School was good, though. My favourite things at school probably aren't related to my career now, but I was big into music when I was at high school. At the time they had some amazing practice rooms where I spent most of my lunchtimes with my friends. We made a girl band, did the smokefreerockquest and spent a lot of our time making music.''
She says the other thing she recalls with fondness was the camps.
''We went to the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre and did a lot of outdoor stuff, which was awesome.''
After leaving school, Ocean headed to Ohakune to work on the central North Island skifields.
''I did some hospitality and spent a lot of time snowboarding.''
She tried, but was deemed too young, to enrol at film and television school.
''So I just did the ski season and bided my time.''
A year later and she did get a place on Auckland's South Seas Film and Television School's year-long diploma course.
''At the time I wasn't really sure where I wanted my career to go and that was just the subject that I was most interested in, so I thought 'I'll study it and see what the career possibilities are as I go'.''
After film school she went back to the snow, passed her ski/board instructor's qualification and did back-to-back seasons in New Zealand and Canada for two years.
''By then I had come to the conclusion that film and television wasn't what I wanted to do.
''I probably didn't have a clear career path until I was about 21 and that's when I went to Victoria University in Wellington and did their tourism management programme - which is kind of like a business degree with tourism papers.
''Compared to what I was like at school, I really threw myself into university and I did all the extra-curricular things.
''I was in the international buddy programme where you basically become friends with all the international students on campus and make sure they feel welcome on campus and feel welcome in New Zealand, and that kind of inspired a love of tourism and being in love with travel and global culture.
In her third year she went on an exchange to the US then got an internship with the UN's World Tourism Organisation in Spain.
''So when I finished my degree, I sat my last exam in the morning, and in the evening I was on a plane to Madrid.''
She describes the internship as a ''real curve ball''.
''I didn't speak Spanish or know anybody, and had no idea what Madrid was going to be like - but that set me very hard on the tourism path.''
After six months Ocean moved to London and worked for a company that organised tourism investment conferences in emerging markets.
''I travelled to all sorts of weird and far-out places around the world - places that had a growing tourism economy but that was still relatively in its infancy. We'd look at what kind of tourism infrastructure was needed, who the investors might be and how that fits in with the local policy and bring all those people together into a conference environment to do business.
''It was a hell of a lot more corporate than I probably suited - from being a ski bum to hanging out with all these investment bankers and fancy rich people from around the world. But you don't need to live that lifestyle to do the work and it was an awesome part of my life.''
After another job in London, Ocean returned to New Zealand and got a position with Tourism New Zealand.
''I was ready to move back to New Zealand. London wasn't somewhere I wanted to be forever, so I put my feelers out into the job market to see what sort of things were on offer.
''When I was at university doing a tourism degree, the pinnacle of tourism jobs, and my goal, was to one day work for Tourism New Zealand but I didn't think I'd get in the doors there quite so soon. But I moved back and got a job with them in 2015 and I've been with them in various capacities since then.''
Originally she was working on the Tourism New Zealand website and in its online marketing.
''Now my official title is multi-media producer in the newsroom team - we are kind of the wider PR team at Tourism New Zealand.
''Pre-Covid, our main mandate was to talk about New Zealand offshore, promoting New Zealand to key markets around the world and enticing people to come on holiday here.
''That's still is a focus of ours - we are still trying to keep the brand alive and keep New Zealand top-of-mind so when the borders open up people still want to come here, but obviously we have shifted to the domestic audience. That's now the mandate for Tourism New Zealand where originally that was really the local tourism bodies' role.''
An in-house team created the Do Something New New Zealand campaign purely for the domestic market.
''As part of the newsroom, we go around the country looking for interesting and unique stories that we can tell. That was always for the international market, but now we are looking for a deeper New Zealand narrative that's also relevant to a domestic audience, so we're trying to build content off the back of Do Something New to encourage Kiwis to get out.''
It is the newsroom team that is behind the partnership with Richie and Gemma McCaw.
''So we've partnered with Gemma and Richie, getting them around New Zealand doing something new and telling their stories and experiences off the back of that. We launched that in December by throwing them out of a plane at the Mount.
''I got to go up there as well to photograph some of that, which was awesome.
''Over the next 12 months we'll become good mates - I'm going to be following them around the country on those missions and filming them doing stuff around the country that they've always wanted to do.
''New Zealanders tend to have this mindset 'of yeah, I'd really like to do that, but I'll do it later because I can go and travel internationally, but now that the borders are closed, we are trying to encourage Kiwis to tick off the things on their bucket list that they've always wanted to do and never allowed the time.''
Ocean's parents are photographer Andy and author Angie Belcher.
''I think their skillset was kind of gifted to me by default because that was their lifestyle. I probably didn't follow that path until I started travelling and during my grad programme. I did a travel blog and that got me into the travel writing space because I was honing my craft, regularly writing, regularly taking photos.
''I guess I'd watched my parents do that over the years and I'd definitely learned some skills from them along the way.''