There was a celebratory feeling in Auckland last week, with the annual Trenz tourism trade conference hitting town.

At a media presentation on "Tourism for Tomorrow", Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief Chris Roberts, Tourism New Zealand's new chief executive Stephen England-Hall and Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon sang the usual tune: NZ is the best little country in the world.

They're right, of course. But it was interesting to hear from a UK Telegraph journalist who wanted to know what we're doing to fix our environmental failings, citing our polluted rivers and cuts to Department of Conservation funding (this was prior to Tourism Minister Paula Bennett's announcement of an extra $76 million for DoC).

"It's better than Manchester," Luxon quipped. A new tagline to replace '100% Pure', perhaps?