Jacinda Ardern gives short response to idea of Scott Morrison helping New Zealand tourism

Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison
"He's kind of out of a job - would you like to have him back?" the PM was asked. Photo credit: Getty Images

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has given a short but honest response to the proposal that former Australian PM Scott Morrison could help with boosting tourism in Aotearoa - again.

Speaking with Channel 10's The Project, Ardern was asked about Tourism New Zealand's campaign of 'Secret Kiwi Travel Agents' before host Hamish Macdonald turned to ScoMo.

"I'm sure you recall that our last PM worked for Tourism NZ for a while. He's kind of out of a job - would you like to have him back?," Macdonald asked.

"Oh, our marketing campaigns are solid," Ardern replied, giving a thumbs up.

"That was a very brief response, Prime Minister," Macdonald replied.

"We're good, we're good," she laughed in response.

The PM also denied Aotearoa's long lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were causing tourists to reconsider the country as a holiday destination.

"No, I think actually that's not particularly the issue here," she said.

"There's no shortage of people who are keen to visit. I've just come back from a trip to Europe promoting trade and tourism in New Zealand and there's a huge amount of enthusiasm. Really, it's now just a matter of people turning their dreams and their aspirations into bookings."

Ardern described Tourism NZ's Secret Kiwi Travel Agents campaign as getting satisfied tourists to "go out and quietly spread the word, tell their friends, tell their families to come and visit New Zealand and share the experience that they've enjoyed".

One of those agents is comedian Melanie Bracewell, host of Channel 10's The Cheap Seats, who told news.com.au she'd been laying the groundwork for years to get Australians over the ditch.

"There's such a relaxed, laid-back energy in New Zealand even if you are visiting for work… it’s just chill," she said.

"It's a small country that has so much to offer, so you can just drive two hours and you are at the beach. Then you’ve got the vineyards, you’ve got islands… you could travel the whole country in a few weeks and see a whole lot of different stuff."

One of the big benefits of Aotearoa was our lack of deadly spiders and snakes, Bracewell laughed.

"In New Zealand you can go anywhere and the worst case scenario is a native worm or something. Mostly our native wildlife are prey, so you have nothing to worry about and you won't go to the middle of nowhere and get eaten by a snake."

With the relaxing of New Zealand's border restrictions, many businesses who lost significant amounts of money due to COVID-19 will be hoping to see a massive rebound in visitor numbers this year.

The general public can also sign up to be agents on the 100% Pure New Zealand website.

"Here you'll find just some of the tools you need to super secretly show Australians all the unmissable experiences New Zealand has to offer," the website states.

"Join the mission and become an official New Zealand Secret (Travel) Agent, gaining access to exclusive training experiences and everything you need to ensure mission success.

"Waimarie pai (good luck), Agent."