For sale: Fresh, bottled NZ air

For sale: Fresh, bottled NZ air

A Canterbury business is bottling fresh air from the Southern Alps and selling it to the Chinese.

It's pricey, but is proving popular, and will soon be hitting the New Zealand market.

"This is one way of giving them a little breath of pure New Zealand air," says Breathe Ezy director Phillip Duval.

The cans are being sold for $28 each in Shanghai, Beijing and dozens more Chinese cities. The smoggy skies of China are some of the most polluted in the world. Last year its pollution hit red-alert levels.

Five-thousand Breathe Ezy cans have already hit their shelves. They're so popular, a second shipment of 10,000 is heading over next.

"It highlights to those countries that we're exporting to that their people want fresh air, their people want pure air," says Mr Duval.

Canadian and Australian companies are already selling air from their countries. In fact, the Aussies say they are also selling our New Zealand air.

The Government promotes New Zealand as 100 percent pure. Breathe Ezy uses the same slogan. So does it foresee any backlash from Tourism New Zealand?

"There shouldn't be any negativity involved with this at all. I think Tourism NZ will be absolutely supporting us, as would the Government."

We asked Kiwis what they thought of our fresh air being bottled and sold overseas -- "exploitative", "bizarre" and "a gimmick" were some of the answers we received.

But the "gimmick" will soon be available here on New Zealand shelves.