New Zealand marks reopening of borders with new global campaign

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New Zealand marks reopening of borders with new global campaign

Posted on June 1, 2022

A graduation gown redesigned by international students to tell their New Zealand story

Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao at the NAFSA conference in Denver, Colorado unveiled for the first time a new global marketing campaign highlighting New Zealand’s unique attributes for international students as the country opens its doors on July 31 after two years of closed borders.

At the heart of the campaign are the stories of eight international students from China, Colombia, Germany, India, Japan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam. Students share their experience of studying and living in New Zealand, and the benefits that come from weaving together different cultures in a way unique to New Zealand.

Education New Zealand invited the eight students to work alongside renowned Maori fashion designer Kiri Nathan to collaborate on the design of a new type of educational clothing that embodies the cultural values ​​that make a New Zealand education unique: manaakitanga ( care of people), kaitiakitanga (care of place), and the pōtiki spirit of youthful energy and finding a better way. The campaign stories focus on students’ experiences and goals and explore themes such as work and career readiness, sustainability and innovation through collaboration. It is a campaign authentically rooted in Te Ao Māori values.

“The traditional gown worn by students when they graduate is a symbol of achievement, capturing a snapshot in time,” says Nathan. “Our ‘kākahu’ (garment) symbolizes not only this accomplishment, but more importantly the cultural journey that these students have undertaken and will continue throughout their lives. Their experience in New Zealand has changed them, weaving and sharing the values ​​of Te Ao Māori into the unique cultures of their own homeland. kākahu’s final designs are a uniquely collaborative effort, globally minded and inspiring – just like the students.

Kiri Nathan is best known for her extensive experience in the modern fashion world steeped in her Te Ao Māori roots. She has developed pieces for international personalities such as Barack Obama, Beyoncé and the Duchess of Sussex. As a Maori mentor leading the Kāhui collective, she has seen a significant number of New Zealand Maori fashion designers participate in New Zealand Fashion Week, Guangzhou Fashion Week, Fashion Week Hong Kong and Fiji Fashion Week. She also led a delegation to China to meet with high-level fashion networks and create marketing channels.

More than diplomas

At the heart of the campaign is the concept that education in New Zealand is about much more than obtaining university degrees.

“What we offer students around the world is an opportunity to experience something new, different and ongoing,” says Grant McPherson, chief executive of Education New Zealand. “It’s a new perspective that redefines success in global education beyond degrees and academic achievement and reinforces understanding of the value of continuous lifelong learning.”

“When you study with New Zealand, you are invited to bring your whole being. You will benefit from New Zealand’s cultural values ​​as well as our high quality education which embodies innovation, hands-on learning and prepares you for the future.

“But we also know that New Zealand also benefits. We want students to bring their stories, culture and perspectives so that we can learn from each other and build a connected, strong and adaptable future.

Of the eight kākahu, three sustainable textile options were used in their manufacture: recycled commercial linen, sustainable wool from New Zealand mills, and animal carcasses from fabric wholesalers.

The campaign was launched as part of Education New Zealand’s participation in NASFA 2022, the world’s largest international education conference and expo in Denver, Colorado. The campaign will roll out in New Zealand’s key partner countries from June 2, 2022 and will initially run for 12 weeks.

The eight students:

Hanbo Wang (Kevin) from China is studying viticulture and wine science at the Eastern Institute of Technology in

Octavius ​​Jones​, from the United States of America, PhD candidate in the Te Kawa a Māui​ department of Victoria University of Wellington​. Octavius ​​researches digital storytelling with Maori women on marine conservation projects.

Tiara Das from India is studying Health Sciences – Psychology and Neuroscience at

University of Otago in Dunedin.

Bryann Avendaño, from Colombia, is studying engineering and natural resource management at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.

Hanna Watanabe from Japan is a Year 12 student at Rangiora New Life School, Rangiora, Canterbury.

Khanh Phuong LE​, from Vietnam, is studying law at the University of Waikato, Hamilton.​

Atis Suksingha, originally from Thailand, is studying commerce and majoring in international business and marketing at the University of Otago.

Malina Grube​ from Germany is studying Sociology at the University of Auckland, Auckland.​


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