As Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, wrap up their four-day visit to our shores, it's worth asking how their visit delivered as an advertisement for New Zealand as a tourism destination.
We've gone through the itinerary and ranked the activities and events Their Royal Highnesses were treated to during their trip.
Wellington welcoming gifts
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were officially welcomed at Government House, the residence of Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy. After being greeted with a traditional welcome ceremony, including a hongi, military gala, haka and 21-gun salute, the royals enjoyed some English breakfast tea with Reddy. During a public walkabout in Wellington, the couple were gifted a number of stereotypically Kiwi offerings, including multiple bags of pineapple lumps and a Buzzy Bee toy – which the Duke "raised above his head victoriously", according to our reporters.
However, it was Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's gifts that made headlines. While Meghan was presented with a pair of Boh Runga designed earrings, Prince Harry was gifted a CD of Shapeshifter's I and a vinyl record of their 2016 album I. We can't help but suspect Clarke Gayford had something to do with that. Vinyl is cool, for sure. But a CD? Welcome to the 1990s, royals!
Abel Tasman National Park
Nelson's Abel Tasman National Park is renowned for golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs and a world-famous coastal walking track. It's undeniably beautiful, for sure, but despite being in the "Sunshine Capital" of New Zealand, the weather refused to behave. A planned tree-planting activity was called off due to rain, but Prince Harry was diplomatic about the occasion, saying in a speech to local iwi that the "rain is a blessing and a reminder of our connection to the land". The royals then joined school kids and youth volunteers for brownies and tea, but to add insult to injury, had to serve up the treats themselves.
Meeting an orc
Middle-earth was front and centre in Tourism New Zealand marketing campaigns marketing almost two decades ago. Have we really not moved on? Apparently not – during a visit to Wellington's Courtenay Creative, the royal couple were presented with a gift by an orc from Lord of the Rings. The performer behind the costume remarked that they seemed "genuinely scared". Possibly they feared being forced to watch the movies.
Gumboot throwing on the North Shore
Heavy rain welcomed the Duke and Duchess to their first Auckland engagement in Redvale on the North Shore, forcing the royals to don gumboots before dedicating an area of native bush to the The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy program. They were then invited to throw the rubbery footwear with local children, as part of the unfortunately named sport of "welly wanging". They put on their best happy faces, but we can't help but feel it was a little bit lame — but hey, it's for the kids.
Te Papaiouru Marae, Rotorua
Rotorua is one of the best places in New Zealand to experience Māori culture and local iwi put on a spectacular pōwhiri for the royal couple that left international media raving. Sky News cameraman Adam Cole said the welcome gave him goosebumps and described it as " a hell of a way to end the tour", while Daily Mirror royal correspondent Russell Myers said it was "incredible to witness".
Both royals were gifted with korowai by Te Arawa – just like Queen Elizabeth was during her 1953 visit — while representatives of presented them with a carved waka tewhatewha, from 2000-year-old totara. These gifts were certainly on a higher level than that Shapeshifter CD, for sure.
National Kiwi Hatchery, Rotorua
During their sojourn to Rotovegas, the Royal Highnesses paid a visit to the National Kiwi Hatchery at Rainbow Springs to learn more about the centre's kiwi breeding programme. During the visit, the couple was lucky enough to meet two adorably tiny three-day-old kiwi chicks and were giving the honour of naming them. Gender neutral names were requested as their genders were unknown at present. The royals settled on koha (gift) and Tihei, from the Maori saying Tihei mauriora which means sneeze of life. Very cute.
Redwoods Tree Walk, Rotorua
The Duke and Duchess made their final stop at Rotorua's Redwoods Tree Walk, where they were greeted by a crowd of mountain bikers, dog walkers and Halloween-costumed children. The royals were escorted up to the platforms and bridges suspended nine metres above the ground amongst majestic 117-year-old redwood trees, to tread part of the 700m elevated path.
It was reported that Meghan, in a black puffer jacket, black pants and flat shoes, smiled enthusiastically throughout. It's a Rotorua must-do and a peaceful ending to a busy trip — so we're sure their Royal Highnesses would have been suitably impressed.
From the lows of the Orc greeting and the Shapeshifter CD to the stirring kapa haka highs of Rotorua, the royal tour provided a limited and necessarily brief view of New Zealand's tourism offerings.
The pair could have ventured further south and deeper into the wilderness, and they really should have been treated to some of our fabulous restaurants. It would have been great if they'd seen more of our exciting future businesses, like Rocket Lab.
One thing was clearly underlined: Māori culture - our one truly unique cultural heritage - stands alone among the things visitors can experience on these shores.