New Zealand has hijacked a key part of the popular annual Australia Day advertisement campaign promoting lamb, in a cheeky swipe at us from across the ditch.

On Sunday, Meat and Livestock Australia released its latest lamb pitch, following in the footsteps of previous successful efforts, suggesting the country has "lost the plot" and should merge with our neighbours to form a new nation.

"We used to be the greatest country on Earth but we've lost the plot," Gary, a government official, laments as the commercial begins. "Cheating at sport, we can't even hang on to a prime minister."

The solution to our woes? "We finally make New Zealand part of us," another official suggests.


"Genius, we create one nation!" Gary enthusiastically responds.

That new combined country would be called New Australia Land, the ad suggests, although it seems the marketing gurus behind the lamb campaign forgot one thing — to register a website domain for

The Kiwis jumped on it the day after the ad debuted and used the prime opportunity to flog their wares.

"We did move pretty quickly," Andrew Waddel, boss of Tourism New Zealand, told

"We saw the ad on Sunday and by Monday we were inspired to respond. A stroke of brilliance saw the domain registered.

"We wanted to add to the conversation so we took the spirit of unity in the ad, as well as the cheeky banter between Australians and New Zealanders."

Those who visit the website will be met with a promotion of the very best parts of New Australia Land — the top natural, cultural and entertainment traits.

"It just so happens that all of the suggestions we have are all based in New Zealand," Mr Waddel said. "What a coincidence."

New Zealand is the number one international destination for Australian travellers, beating hot spots like Bali and Thailand.

The site for New Australia Land is a way of reminding Aussies of all that the location has to offer, Mr Waddel said, with a bit of healthy banter added in.

"We wanted to add to the conversation so we took the spirit of unity in the ad, as well as the cheeky banter between Australians and New Zealanders," he said.

This year's lamb ad was well-received by Kiwis, Mr Waddel said, although many were confused about the premise, given the campaign isn't known there.

"New Zealanders don't really know the ads — they don't have the context. It was a bit like, where did this come from? But the humour played well."
Subtle digs at the two-degrees of separation between Kiwis — including Jacinda Ardern's mobile phone number apparently being 04 — was also enjoyed, he said.

Although the New Zealand PM didn't take kindly to the claim that Australia has the best lamb, describing the suggestion as an "absolute outrage".

Speaking to reports in London on Tuesday, Ms Ardern said the ad was "very humorous" but added: "Any suggestion that their lamb out does us is an absolute outrage."

Mr Waddel hopes the website stunt raises awareness of New Zealand as a holiday hotspot for Aussies.

"Australians like the diverse range of experiences — they love a drive, they explore regions beyond the city centres. It's an immersive and rich experience. We say that people arrive as visitors and leave as family.

"We want people to enjoy the place but we want them to have a real connection with the people. There's a word, manaakitanga, which means hospitality and a deep welcoming of visitors."