How does a country of 4.7m people just disappear?
FOR YEARS, New Zealand has been left out of world maps.
And its Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has had it.
As such, Tourism New Zealand has gone on a crusade to #getNZonthemap, with the help of Ardern and New Zealander actor and comedian Rhys Darby.
The light-hearted campaign highlights the frequent omission of the country from world maps. In a hilarious clip, Darby “sets out” to investigate the matter.
“The next great conspiracy! New Zealand is disappearing off world maps!” a note sent to Darby read, prompting him to get on the internet to verify the information before calling Ardern from across the North Atlantic Ocean.
“I’m sure there is a reasonable explanation,” Ardern calmly responded.
“This is a major conspiracy! I’m going to get behind it. By that, I don’t mean support it. I’m going to actually, you know, sort of get in behind it. Not in a rude way, I’ll go around the side of it..” Darby rambled on.
He later called it a “conspiracy” that’s “bigger than the moon landing and the Loch Ness combined”.
“Australia wants our tourists, England wants to get rid of the All Blacks and the wine industry, they can’t beat our Pinot or Sav,” he said of his findings to Ardern.
The tongue-in-cheek video went viral after Ardern shared it on her Facebook page.
“Admit it. You’ve noticed the absence of New Zealand on world maps before too. Some call it a conspiracy (I’m looking at you @Rhys Darby) some call it negligent…either way it’s time for a wee campaign! Help us #getNZonthemap,” Ardern wrote in her caption.
New Zealand has been left out of many, many maps in the past.
This includes Pixar’s Monsters University, the Smithsonian Museum, the Risk board game map, the Universal Studios globe water feature, and even the Formula 1 Bahrain GP.
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 3, 2016
Why does this keep happening? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not because Australia wants their tourists.
According to Atlas Obscura, most world maps use the 16th-century Mercator projection, which leaves New Zealand in the bottom righthand corner of the world and places Europe in the center.
“But the projection has its downsides..New Zealand’s spot in the hinterlands of the Pacific makes it easy to misplace with a thoughtless crop,” Atlas Obscure wrote.