One of the architects behind New Zealand's successful 100 Percent Pure tourism campaign has left his job as managing director of Tourism Australia amid bitterness.

Scott Morrison had a falling out with federal Tourism Minister Fran Bailey, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted tourism insiders as saying.

Mr Morrison has been behind the controversial "So Where The Bloody Hell Are You" campaign aimed at attracting visitors to Australia. The advertising industry voted it as one of the top 30 Australian commercials of all time.

Tourism Australia chairman Tim Fischer refused to say why Mr Morrison was leaving his A$350,000 ($428,500) a year job.

Mr Morrison, an Australian, helped set up the New Zealand Office of Tourism and Sport in the 1990s, which substantially reformed tourism marketing, research and forecasting.

The office helped create the 100 Percent Pure New Zealand campaign, which has been the catalyst to huge tourism growth in New Zealand.

He left with a year to go on his contract in March 2000 and went on to become state director of the Liberal Party, before being appointed as Tourism Australia managing director in 2004.

It was reported that the relationship between Mr Morrison and Ms Bailey had been messy for months, but also that there had been friction going back to when Mr Morrison was with the Liberal Party.

His demise might be linked to a plan to end the tourism body's status as an independent statutory authority and place it firmly under the control of the minister and the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources. It is not thought to be related to the controversial tourism advertising campaign.

Mr Fischer yesterday praised Mr Morrison's performance, particularly "with the development and launch of the new international campaign, 'So Where The Bloody Hell Are You'."

- NZPA