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Making a Difference, One Kiwi at a Time

Air New Zealand believes that preserving and promoting New Zealand’s unique and impressive natural landscapes is a big part of their work, and this is definitely something that we here at G Adventures can get on board with.

by Caitlin Hotchkiss Posted on 23 May 2013
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As New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand plays a central role in promoting the country as a world-class tourist destination. The airline believes that preserving and promoting New Zealand’s unique and impressive natural landscapes is a big part of this work, and this is definitely something that we here at G Adventures can get on board with.

Last April, Air New Zealand announced a significant partnership with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation (DOC). Over the past 12 months, Air New Zealand has encouraged Kiwis and international visitors to “Get Out and Walk” New Zealand’s nine Great Walks. The airline is also heavily involved in translocating endangered native fauna around the country.

The partnership, which extends into 2015, is already bearing fruit, with figures showing a 10 percent increase in visitors on the Great Walk trails between July 2012 and March 2013. (In the four years prior to the partnership Great Walks visitation had increased by just 1%.) This has significantly increased DOC’s revenue, enabling them to invest further in conservation.

Far from a dry corporate partnership, Air New Zealand’s reputation for out-of-the-box initiatives can be seen in some of the activities they’ve embarked on as part of the partnership. Here’s a couple we wanted to highlight:

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The G Project As part of their visionary principles, Air New Zealand strives to put people and professionalism at the forefront while preserving a "distinctive New Zealand" nature. The company’s success is grounded by a focus on true product innovation and a commitment to delivering a world-class flight experience to every customer. Air New Zealand’s focus on travel makes it a perfect match for sponsoring the G Project.

The Great Walker Competition

To raise awareness of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks, Air New Zealand embarked on a search for four Great Walkers from around the globe. The four selected had submitted video and Pinterest board entries as to why they deserved to trek all Great Walks in nine weeks. In February, they embarked on their 550km journey through some of New Zealand’s most scenic and preserved locations.

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Bear Grylls Safety Video

In Air New Zealand’s newest safety video, “Bear Essentials of Safety,” the airline featured outdoor safety expert Bear Grylls to star in the first safety video ever filmed outside of an aircraft. The video takes place along the Routeburn Track - a World Heritage Site and one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. While navigating through a series of safety instructions, Grylls is accompanied with special appearances from New Zealand Boy Scouts and native animals including a kea, a tuatara, native glow worms, and the extinct, flightless Moa.

The video has received over 2 million views and counting!

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Biodiversity Projects

As a key element of the partnership with DOC, Air New Zealand has helped translocate numerous endangered species and set up efforts to protect natural wildlife. Some of these efforts include:

  • Rakiura Track: Kiwis and robins were released in February 2013. In addition, dune restoration began and a predator control program was introduced to reduce the number of cats, rats and possums, which threaten New Zealand’s endangered fauna.

  • Milford Track: Along the Milford Track, the pāteke (brown teal) was released in February 2013 as a result of doubling the density of stoat traps and establishing additional possum and rat control. DOC plans to release the takahe in February 2014.

  • Routeburn Track: A new stoat trap line and possum residual trap catch monitoring was put in place and a survey of whio was completed.

  • Waikaremoana Track: Twelve kiwi nests were incubated along the Peninsular and a layout of 84km of rat control lines began. Additionally, up-skilled local Maori carried out pest control work.

  • A significant number of species transfers have taken place, including 265 tuatara (rare native lizard) being moved to five locations around the country - the largest movement of its type ever undertaken - as well as the movement of some of New Zealand’s rarest birds including takahe, kiwi and kakapo.

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As you can see, Air New Zealand’s focus on supporting biodiversity and the preservation of its beautiful home country is a prime example of a company seeking environmental sustainability. We’re proud to be working with Air New Zealand for the G Project, and we hope to see more carriers follow their impressive lead in the future.

Getting There

G Adventures runs a number of departures in New Zealand encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater to different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours — check out our small group trips here.