Tourism New Zealand has changed tack in its 100% Pure campaign with a series of adverts shifting emphasis away from landscapes.

The new campaign, emphasising people and culture, will go global this week as the organisation faces a new challenge to explain the proposed border levy.

Tourism New Zealand, which had its funding from the government cut in the May budget, said the new direction in its 100% Pure campaign was not a response to those who say the claim is dishonest given this country's not-so-pure environmental record.

Tourism NZ's chief executive Stephen England-Hall said this was not the case.


''Not at all, to be fair. We hear a bit of rhetoric in the New Zealand media about the claim of the connection to the environment but at the heart of 100% Pure is people and the environment, which is what our visitors really buy into,'' he said.

England-Hall said the people and culture made this country unique.

''For a number of years we really emphasised the landscapes - but landscapes are something everyone has got, so how do we bring another dimension? New Zealand's people and culture take centre stage.''

New Zealand was now competing hard for wealthy visitors against rivals in South America and Europe which promoted their spectacular scenery.

The 19-year-old 100% Pure campaign had already been through a number of shifts in emphasis, including making New Zealand 100% Middle Earth.

The videos will be used in markets in Australia, US, Britain, Germany, Japan, China, Indonesia, India and Brazil.

The four videos were made for $875,000 and follow a couple as they take road trips across New Zealand's regions.

England-Hall said Tourism New Zealand was working with Māori Tourism and a range of industry participants to incorporate people and culture into New Zealand's destination brand.


"It's incredibly important we get this right. Our people and culture are diverse and multifaceted and we need to make sure we capture this authentically and deliver something Kiwis will embrace."

The brand evolution work will continue over the coming months and will be reflected in new content as it is created.

Tourism NZ's budget was cut by just under $6 million to $111m in the budget.

England-Hall said the reduced funding meant the organisation would have to cut the number of people it would reach. The proposed tourism levy of between $25 and $35 was something else that would have to be communicated overseas.

''Our major concern with any change that is made to the visitor experience is how we communicate that and how do people see benefit in that,'' he said.

''We work hard on core known barriers - you bring in something like this and that's another barrier. Some of our resources at some point will have to go on addressing that.''