New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines

Kiwi expats encouraged to become effective ambassadors for their country

New Zealanders living overseas are being urged to pass on information about the best their country has to offer, with a focus on next year’s rugby world cup.

The Kiwi Expat Association (Kea) yesterday launched its “Pass It On” campaign, an initiative to turn the nearly one million New Zealanders who live overseas into a network of virtual ambassadors.

Kea has clicked onto the children’s birthday game of Chinese whispers and dragged it into the internet age.  The message is “New Zealand has plenty to brag about — Pass It On”.

The appeal is based around the Pass It On website  which features profiles of internationally-oriented individuals and organisations in New Zealand.  Users are encouraged to ‘pass on’ the content to interested members of their own offshore networks.

Successful ‘passes’ earn users ‘pass points’, which then become entries in a monthly prize draw.  Companies including Air New Zealand, Huka Retreats, Icebreaker and Untouched World have contributed to an incentive pool of more than NZ$250,000.

Kea chair Sir Stephen Tindall said the timing of “Pass It On”, in the build-up to next year’s rugby world cup, was no coincidence.  “The 2011 tournament is looming large on New Zealand’s horizon.  Given how rare it is for this country to host a truly global event, it is the perfect opportunity for Kiwis abroad to re-connect with their homeland and tell people around the world what is going on.”

“From our fashion designers, to musicians, yacht designers, and superb pinot noir, we have talent and products which our international supporters club can spread the word about — before, during and after the events of 2011.”

Kea Executive Director Ross McConnell said our musicians, film-makers, fashion designers, and other business people could use the Pass It On network to engage with Kiwis and other friends of New Zealand living overseas.

“Many Kiwis have done incredibly well overseas, and have fantastic international networks as a result.  This is a great opportunity for New Zealand to make the most of those connections, as global interest in New Zealand peaks over the next 18 months.”

More information on Pass It On, including how interested individuals or companies can get involved, is available on the Pass it On website by viewing this video or by following developments on Twitter @nzpassiton.

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