'Beautiful' new Māori culture-themed Air NZ safety video impresses internet

The latest Air New Zealand safety video is receiving a lot of praise on the internet, seemingly much more so than some of the airline's previous efforts.

Māori culture is highlighted in the new clip, entitled 'Tiaki and the Guardians', which showcases Aotearoa's beauty and encourages people to care about its environment as a flying waka goes on a magical journey.

"Tiaki connects us to care for our people, our place and our culture," Joe Hirawara tells youngsters at a marae at the start of the video.

Throughout the five-minute clip, the usual safety messages about where to put carry-on luggage, what happens in an emergency and how smoking is prohibited are interspersed with messages about guardians Papatūānuku (the land), Tangaroa (sea), Tāne Mahuta (forest) and Ranginui (sky).

On Air NZ's YouTube account, comments are overwhelmingly positive at the time of publishing - a far cry from the negative response received by some previous videos such as 'It's Kiwi Safety'.

YouTube comments on Air New Zealand's 'Tiaki and the Guardians' video.
Photo credit: YouTube

"I wasn't expecting something so beautiful. Thank you, Air NZ," on comment reads under 'Tiaki and the Guardians'.

"Ka pai, beautifully done. Ngā mihi nui for incorporating the story of Tiaki into a message that will be heard by so many visitors," said another.

An Australian commented: "Thanks Air NZ for a beautiful safety video and sharing a fascinating story, this is why I always travel with Air NZ."

Of course, not every viewer loves the video and on Facebook it's easier to find negative responses to 'Tiaki and the Guardians'.

Facebook comments on Air New Zealand's 'Tiaki and the Guardians' video.
Photo credit: Facebook

"Usually don't mind these videos however this one not so much. It seems long and am not sure any non-New Zealander will understand it with their strong local accents, assuming it is to be used on international flights," wrote one person.

Another added: "While I love that they have finally included Aotearoa's culture, this is a safety video, the most important information passengers get told, and that safety message gets lost in this video with the Maori culture becoming louder so to speak. 

"I've come away from watching this video only focusing on the cultural story and can't remember much about the safety aspects."

'Tiaki and the Guardians' will play on Air NZ's international and domestic flights from Monday.

The airline said it worked closely with the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute to design the waka and its carvings, which was taken to the various filming locations and flown on wires to create real shadows and textures.  

These practical effects were enhanced using LED stages such as those used in The Mandalorian, Air NZ said, to "bring the legends of Māori culture to life, and it was this motion technology that created a seamless shift from the real world to the fantastical".

What do you think about the new safety video? Share your thoughts on the Newshub Travel Facebook group.