28 Nov 2018

Air NZ video a 'weird mish-mash' - Shane Jones

9:54 am on 28 November 2018

NZ First MP Shane Jones isn't mincing words over Air New Zealand's "cringe" new safety video and suggests they make a video about going back to Kaitaia.

A still from the new safety video "it's kiwi".

A still from the new safety video "it's kiwi". Photo: Screengrab

Mr Jones said not only is the video a cringe "mish-mash", it also fails the safety test.

"I think they've got to go back to basics. I'm totally disinterested if 10 million Chinese like some video that ordinary Kiwis couldn't understand themselves."

"I think it's weird that something that's meant to be 'Kiwi', that we're importing, is a kind of street subculture as a way of conveying a message about safety," he told Morning Report.

The video copies the formula of American hip hop ground Run DMC's 1987 hit It's tricky, replacing the words with 'It's Kiwi'.

It stars Julian Dennison of Hunt for the Wilderpeople and has New Zealand musicians Kings, Theia, and Randa. Parts of the video appear to be set in Auckland.

"It's Kiwi to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that's safe and fly," the lyrics read.

Commentators have pointed out that the safety message embedded in the lyrics and video are hard to follow.

"I'm embarrassed that the world sees this and embarrassed that lots of people thought this was a good idea," reads a top comment on the YouTube video.

"This is absolutely horrendous. The safety message is completely lost. Very hard to follow. So much cringe," another reads.

Mr Jones yesterday told Stuff that travellers had told them their views on the video.

"I have never heard the F-word more frequently and they're not saying 'first class'," he said.

However, Mr Jones told Morning Report he had to be careful about what he said about the airline.

"People feel I have an agenda and I don't really want to get in a slinging match with the CEO."

He said the company's steadfast position made it difficult for him to positively influence the airline.

"How am I to do my job as a provincial champion when if you follow the conventional channels of writing them letters, they remind you that they're totally independent.

"The board members don't want to listen to you, they say it's operational. When you go to operational, they say they resent politicians having a view over our business.

"They're a sharemarket company, they were bailed out by the taxpayer, so a retail-politician like me ends up talking to you [the media]," Mr Jones said.

"That's not an optimum outcome, but it's one way of ensuring the interests of provincial New Zealand that, in my view, are being substantially diminished by Air New Zealand's investment trajectory," he said.

Mr Jones said the Crown was now looking at investing with a different national carrier for regional flights.

"I've given up on Air New Zealand going to the Kaitaia's of the world. Now there's an idea, have a safety video about finally going back to Kaitaia."

Air New Zealand defended the new video in a statement to Stuff.

"We're proud of the latest safety video and make no apology for celebrating Kiwi culture or showcasing the talents of people from 30 community groups around New Zealand, including in many regions," it said.

"We're also thrilled that the video has focused attention internationally on New Zealand in a positive way."

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