“Sit at a distance, stand as one. When the time is right, we welcome you. But for now, listen. Papatūānuku (our earth mother) is breathing.” This is from the awe-inspiring video that captures the beauty and stillness of Auckland, New Zealand.

Produced by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) while New Zealand is in lockdown to tackle COVID-19, Papatūānuku is breathing has resonated with New Zealanders and the global community,  so much so that the video has been translated into French and Spanish by two inspired viewers.

The two-minute video was made by ATEED staff to create a connection and a message that reflects the region’s uniquely Māori culture while using existing Auckland footage.

The voiceover was recorded at home by 11-year-old Manawanui Maniapoto Mills in Muriwai, on Auckland’s rugged west coast, and features haunting taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instrumental sounds) by Moana and the Moahunters. This includes the putaatara (opening conch shell sound), the purerehua (wind sound) and the kōauau (Māori flute sound at the end). New Zealand’s Department of Conservation provided the native bird sounds.

The video has been viewed over 650,000 times across different platforms and has generated the most engagements on ATEED’s Visit Auckland Facebook page ever.

Within five days of its release on Facebook, it had generated more than 490,000 views and 9,000 shares and had a potential reach of more than 1.2 million. It is also ATEED’s highest performing video on the Visit Auckland YouTube channel with more than 147,000 views.

ATEED’s General Manager Destination Steve Armitage says the video’s message was designed to be simple: this is a time of rest, a moment to appreciate the stillness.

“While people are unable to visit our region at the moment, all of Auckland’s wonderful experiences will be waiting for the world when the time is right,” said Armitage in a statement.

In seeing the other videos destinations around the world have created during the COVID-19 pandemic, ATEED wanted to come up with something that was uniquely Auckland.

“We are proud of the positive feedback that we have received about our video. That will provide us with inspiration as we move more purposefully alongside our tourism industry towards recovery,” says Armitage. “We are grateful to all those who collaborated with us on this very special project and gifted us the use of their material.”

With New Zealand in lockdown, the production was completed while all involved worked remotely in separate locations.

Now sit back, relax, and let the beauty of Auckland inspire you by clicking here.

Visit #AmazingDaysAhead to inspire future bookings. For more updates on this ever-changing situation, visit Recommend’s Coronavirus Updates Center.