It is one of the greatest mysteries of our time — why is New Zealand always being left off world maps? A new video tackles the issue.
In a 2.5 minute video posted to Facebook around 10am on Wednesday 2 May 2018, New Zealand has launched a tourism campaign exploring this question that has bothered the country for years.
The video, named "Get New Zealand on the Map ", has quickly gone viral and has already received more than 10,000 views.
In the clip, New Zealand comedian Rhys Darby has teamed up with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Darby is on the phone, and alerts the NZ Prime Minister to the "big conspiracy going down" describing the frequent omissions as "bigger than the moon landing and Loch Ness combined".
The Kiwi* comedian comes up with a number of conspiracy theories to explain the country’s exclusion .
He tells Ardern he believes New Zealand has been taken off the map because "Australia wants to steal our tourists, England wants to get rid of the All Blacks once and for all, and France is threatened by New Zealand’s wine industry."
He needed Ardern's help to return Aotearoa (the Māori name for New Zealand) to the world's map books.
Darby conducts an extensive investigation into the conspiracy, finding that New Zealand is missing from maps in Getty’s stock photo library, the game of Risk, Vancouver International Village, Central Park Zoo, Spanish in-flight magazines, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, Ikea and Starbucks cafes, the United Nations, the BBC among others.
The #getnzonthemap campaign is part of a drive to encourage more visitors to the country, known by Maoris as The Land of the Long White Cloud.
One of the most isolated countries on the globe, New Zealand has long been a top pick on many travellers’ bucket lists after the successful Lord of The Rings and Hobbit film franchises revealed its stunning landscape to a global audience.
The country, which is comprised of approximately 600 islands, is broadly separated into two main islands: the north and south.
New Zealand is similar in size to Great Britain or Japan, but has a population of only four million people.
It has been described as a "melting-pot" of people, with a history of Maori, European, Pacific Island and Asian cultures.
In 1893, the country became the first on earth to give women the vote.
Ardern, who is currently expecting her first child, will be the country’s third female prime minister and the first leader to have a child while in power since Benazir Bhutto in 1990.
The New Zealand government has long been in on the joke and has a New Zealand- free world map on its "404 - Page not found" page on its website.
(*nickname for people from New Zealand)