New Zealand – As New Zealand relaxes border restrictions to welcome tourists, Air New Zealand has launched a new safety video that features its ‘Tiaki Promise’, which encourages both New Zealanders and international visitors to care for the place, culture, and people.

Titled ‘Tiaki and The Guardians’, the story follows Tiaki, a young man who boards a flying canoe and sets off on an adventure across Aotearoa. With the help of Air New Zealand and Julie, who is a character that embodies the rest of New Zealand, Tiaki visits four Māori guardians including Papatūānuku (the land), Tangaroa (sea), Tāne Mahuta (forest), and Ranginui (sky). Along the way, he seeks advice from these guardians on how better to look after them.

Jeremy O’Brien, Air New Zealand’s general manager of brand and marketing, stated that they want tourism to build back better than it was before and part of that is to share with the visitors a sense of kaitiaki – to encourage them to act as guardians of the country. 

He further shared that their safety videos are world-renowned and through them, they have an opportunity to educate and inspire on the importance of Tiaki and everything it stands for, which is about being good hosts and good visitors.

The airline worked closely with the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute to design the waka and its carvings. From there it was taken to the various filming locations and flown on wires to create realistic shadows and textures for post-production. Moreover, the cutting-edge LED stage screens, used in The Mandalorian TV series, helped to bring the legends of Māori culture to life.

O’Brien said, “I’d like to thank Pou Tikanga and storyteller, Joe Harawira, New Zealand Māori Tourism and the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute for guiding us, right from concept to the building of the waka, and the cultural formalities we followed throughout. The collaborative effort has helped us share this story and the principles of Tiaki authentically.”

The film has been already rolled out across Air New Zealand’s international and domestic fleet and is available to view online.