It is a truth universally acknowledged that any hamlet of three buildings perched together in the countryside must be in want of a marketing team to pin a slogan on it.

Auckland's new campaign slogan is aimed at boosting domestic tourism.

"No passport required" is true enough, though the campaign's overall message seems dusty to me.

Seriously, any of our country cousins who haven't got past the preconceptions of Jafas and yuppiedom simply aren't going to come here (which is probably for the best for all parties concerned).


Other out-of-towners might find the tone a little dated - you'll get just as much culinary snobbishness in Central Otago and Cuba St as on Ponsonby Road.

It's a pity the marketing boffins didn't feel confident enough of the region's charms - the harbour, the restaurants, the Waitakeres, etc - to let them sing.

Blame the Flight of the Conchords - ever since NZ's fourth-most-popular folk parody act hit it big, Kiwi marketing has dived head first into self-deprecation. From 2Degrees mobiles to Sean Fitzpatrick's bewildering pink fist and now to Steinlager - yes, even flag-waving, air-punching Steinlager - everyone seems to be taking the proverbial these days.

Still, at least this passport slogan is not as garbled as Heart of the City's forehead-slapping oxymoron: The big little city.

I don't envy the people charged with coming up with town slogans. It's not your standard corporate gig; these are places where people live. Get it wrong, and you've wronged them.

Got a better suggestion for an Auckland slogan? Comment below or send your suggestions to