100% Pure Chickenshit

June 23, 2011 – 11:56 am

New Zealand has, for a long time, marketed itself as 100% Pure. In the last year, this slogan has taken a beating. The climax seems to have been when BBC Hardtalk interviewer Stephen Sackur gave Prime Minister John Key a colossal roasting over the discrepancy between reality and the slogan. The slogan was watered down to “100% Pure You”, and the pressure on politicians eased off. “Whew, our international PR slogan is saved!”

Call me slow, but I just realized what a disgusting cop out this is. “100% Pure” isn’t just a tourism slogan, it’s how we see ourselves. We have a long tradition of believing we’re clean and green, and of trying to act in league with that. It’s a fantastically ambitious high standard to hold ourselves to. If we pollute streams with dairy farming run-off, stop doing that. If we have foully-emitting vehicles, raise emissions standards. If we were going to mine in our conservation estate, don’t do that! Just hold yourself to a lower standard. This is a no-brainer, people.

Resiling from the challenge of stewardship of the environment is lazy and corrupt. If we said “we Kiwis are smart” and then someone pointed out that we weren’t 1st in childhood education in the OECD, would we then say “oh no you’re right, we’re stupid, let’s give up”? Or would we continue to aspire to wisdom, funding and engineering our educational system to live up to that ambition? Somehow, though, we’re happy to back away from the environment. How the fuck did we let that happen?

Sorry, something just slipped into place as I realized what happened, and I had to rant. As you were, back to your cat videos.

  1. 2 Responses to “100% Pure Chickenshit”

  2. Only just saw this post (posted on my birthday too!). I agree with you. As someone who emigrated to NZ from the US, I can say I was definitely misled by the 100% Pure campaign. I still think we made the right decision to move here, but I feel we were deceived about the greenness of NZ. When I voted for the first time in NZ, I was convinced the Green Party would win the majority – that’s how deluded I was. When they received less then 10% of the vote, I realised something was amiss!

    By tchelseat on Aug 24, 2011

  3. I think Mr. tchelseat already told what I wanted to say and I would like to congratulate this site because of having a very informative post. Totally a big thumps up for this and keep-up the good works and I cant wait for the next one.

    By Steven Hodge on Nov 17, 2011

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