A haunting video that celebrates the silence of our biggest city in the Covid-19 lockdown has become the biggest ever global hit on the Visit Auckland YouTube channel.

Papatūānuku is Breathing, narrated by 11-year-old Manawanui Maniapoto Mills, pans across Auckland's natural landscapes as human activity almost stops during the lockdown.

"Stop, listen, Papatūānuku the earth mother is breathing, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is still," it begins.

"Out tūī, our kererū, now need not fight with the daily hum of our busy lifestyles."


And at the end: "Dream, plan, and when the time is right we welcome you, but for now listen, Papatūānuku is breathing."

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) destination general manager Steve Armitage said the video's message was "designed to be simple: this is a time of rest; take a moment to appreciate the stillness and the beauty of our region".

"We hope the video is encouraging for Kiwis entering their third week of lockdown," he said.

"The message is positive and calming, presenting through an entirely different lens the sacrifice people are making to prevent the spread of Covid-19. We hope this video provides a real boost to our communities and beyond."

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The two-minute video has been viewed over 500,000 times across different platforms, with 397,000 views within five days on Facebook alone, plus 7600 shares and had a potential reach of 1.2 million.

It is also Ateed's highest performing video on the Visit Auckland YouTube channel with more than 100,000 views, and has been translated by two viewers into French and Spanish.

Armitage said other destinations around the world have created showcase videos amid the coronavirus crisis, so Ateed wanted to come up with something that was uniquely Auckland.


• Official site: covid19.govt.nz.