CASE SOLVED: New Zealand thought #GetNZontheMap conspiracy was Ed Sheeran's doing

Following on from Tourism New Zealand's successful #getNZonthemap campaign, Kiwi comedian Rhys Darby is back again to investigate the ongoing saga. But what's Ed Sheeran got to do with it?

Following on from Tourism New Zealand’s successful #getNZonthemap campaign, Kiwi comedian Rhys Darby is back again to investigate the ongoing saga. But what’s Ed Sheeran got to do with it?

The mystery all started around 6 months ago when Tourism New Zealand CEO, Stephen England-Hall and his colleagues were grabbing a coffee in Starbucks in San Francisco and saw a world map on the café wall.

Almost choking on their lattés (and not just because it was Starbucks), they noticed that New Zealand was completely missing off the map.

A schoolboy error? But no. After more digging, the team discovered that New Zealand was nowhere to be seen on a plethora of other maps as well as many online photo libraries, famous attractions and even board games.


RISK: The Board game. Not a hit with Tourism NZ.


So what did Tourism NZ do as a response?

Those clever folks in the marketing team created this hilarious video as a bit of a joke, which ended up going viral, clocking up over 1 million organic views in the first 24 hours and landing in major media outlets all over the world.

That’s pretty cool.


And now for the next installment…

With the case still unsolved, the latest video again features Rhys Darby continuing his bumbling detective questioning around why New Zealand has been missed off so many global maps and who could have done such a thing?

After some brain drain clue debunking and a few cookies, Darby hones in on none other than British rock star Ed Sheeran who is apparently ‘thinking’ of applying for New Zealand citizenship.

Darby almost manages to convince NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that it’s all down to Ed Sheeran, but let’s face it, we all know she’s much smarter than that, and she ends up shrugging his accusation off on the phone.

It’s not until Lord of the Rings creator, ‘Sir’ Peter Jackson calls Darby with a different perspective and his solution for a new map that’ll make sure New Zealand not just on it, but proudly at the centre of it.


Behold the ‘Middle Earth map’…


Ahh, we see! It’s all a clever ploy and invitation for tourists everywhere to “Make New Zealand the middle of your earth”.

All up, it’s a clever campaign and one that has given New Zealand yet more exposure on the global media stage.

Hat tip.


What do you think about the campaign? Share your thoughts below.