Time to be 'cocky'
New Zealand needs to be more confident and tell the world what we do and what we are good at, says director of NZ Story Rebecca Smith – at the 2nd Queenstown Agribusiness Symposium.
"The world saw NZ as a place of natural beauty, welcoming and happy people but on the negative side a country that lacked vibrancy, was not multicultural, not good at science and technology or production and services."
Given that NZ is ranked third for the number of patents lodged, the perception stemmed from an inherent shyness and a reluctance to share with the world how much more we can offer.
The NZ Story is an initiative to help businesses promote NZ attributes and values to the world.
Firms that meet the criteria could access the Fernmark brand and a promotional video to tell the NZ story to potential customers.
It depicts qualities of New Zealanders but also how we do business, our ingenuity and where we are from, to support exporters to express their story and their values.
The agricultural sector had an abundance of heroes who had wonderful stories.
Wine is an example of how the NZ story has opened doors and created a successful billion-dollar export industry.
"Wine is fancy farming but wine tells the story of people and place at a high level and the interesting thing is the smaller the place and higher the value."
Steve Smith, a shareholder of Craggy Range Vineyard and a member of the NZ Story advisory board, says given the fact that Australians are believed by many to be over-confident – that contrasts New Zealanders – a subtle exchange of confidence would offer both countries a mutual benefit.