Posted by: sabrina | May 21, 2010

AIR NZ with plastic cutlery on rank 5 worldwide

AIR NEW ZEALAND has been voted among the world’s top five airlines in a survey – even though (or because?) they are re-using their plastic cutlery up to 10 times.

The airline has been voted fifth in the 2010 World Airline Awards, announced by Skytrax on May 20, 2010, at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany.

According to a Skytrax announcement, 17.94 million people took part in the world’s largest passenger survey and voted Asiana Airlines best.

Top 10 places in the Airline of the Year Awards :

1.   Asiana Airlines
2.   Singapore Airlines
3.   Qatar Airways
4.   Cathay Pacific
5.   Air New Zealand
6.   Etihad Airways
7.   Qantas Airways
8.   Emirates
9.   Thai Airways
10.  Malaysia Airlines

see the NZ HERALD slideshow

An article by the NZ Herald earlier this week reports that Air NZ and other airlines are re-using the plastic cutlery up to ten times before chucking them away.

The story had arisen from a similar report by The Sunday Telegraph that unveiled what they called the “Qantas cutlery scandal”:

“Qantas has admitted it re-uses plastic knives, forks and spoons multiple times, collecting them at the end of meals and sending them to a washing facility to be cleaned, before distributing them to a new set of passengers.” (What the fork! Qantas cutlery scandal – The Sunday Telegraph, May 16, 2010)

Air NZ also admitted re-using plastic cutlery and argued it was environmentally friendlier to wash and re-use plastic bowls, plates, trays and cutlery instead of throwing them out after each meal.

The airline is well-known for its environmental-friendly efforts – but would the passengers still have voted for the airline in the Skytrax survey if they had known about this earlier…?

A poll on the website of the NZ Herald shows that the people’s opinions are split. So far, 54% voted against the re-use of plastic cutlery, 46% said yes.

The story had also been picked up by

Posted by: sabrina | May 16, 2010

Sydney turns pink for Ella’s Pink Lady

So she made it.

After her first attempt to sail solo around the world as the youngest ever failed off the shore of Sydney on the very first day back in September 2009, teenager Jessica Watson is now Aussie’s new superstar.

CNN: The 17-year old solo sailor returned to Sydney with her yacht Ella’s Pink Lady after having spent 210 days sailing around the world – all by her self.

Welcomed by hundreds of boats and thousands of spectators, she returned to Sydney Harbour on Saturday afternoon.

Minutes after her arrival at the Opera House, Australia’s Prime Minister himself, Kevin Rudd, called Ms Watson the “newest Australian hero”.

However, there is controversy about her trip and the question whether she has actually set a record or not.

Critics say her trip was not long enough to hit the length of the equator (21,600 nautical miles) and therefore she may not have bested fellow Australian Jesse Martin, who had set the record at the age of 18 in 1999.

According to Jessica Watson’s team, Watson has sailed 23,000 nautical miles.

– read more about the controversy here

– read the CNN story here

– see a slideshow by the NZ HERALD here

* * *

ARIIVAL: Watson arrives in Sydney (Qu:

What I would like to know:

1) After 210 days on a pink yacht – will she ever be able to look at something that is even just nearly pink again without turning insane?

2) What did Kevin Rudd think when he came up with the idea of presenting her with a “Learn 2 drive”-kit after her arrival in Sydney?

3) How will she be able to cope with being in an actual city after having been so far away from any civilisation for so long? Can she handle the people?

Anyway, on her blog, she promises to keep us up to date with her life – and if it’s too much for the blog, there will be a book, so I guess sooner or later we will find out.

* * *

Posted by: sabrina | April 24, 2010

There and back again – again

No, I wasn’t stuck on an airport while the ash clouds of volcano Eyjafjöll deadlocked airtravel all over Europe.

I didn’t just vanish, either.

I was simply busy with… well, graduating with a multi-media journalism diploma, planning my parents’ holidays in New Zealand, then actually dealing with my parents as well as with my host family, then flying to Germany and finally settling into my “old” life in Germany again.

So I formally apologise for not having been able to write or post anything for quite a while here, but I promise that now that I have acclimatised and all the dust and ash is gone and skies above Europe are clear again, I will concentrate on New Zealand’s and the world’s travel news again.

Posted by: sabrina | February 22, 2010

Waikato’s warrior plans abandoned

DOMINION POST: After all New Zealand won’t be having a giant bronze statue as symbol of international significance…

Waikato Warrior: No longer in line with international icons (pic: STUFF)

Plans to build a 8m bronze sculpture of a Maori warrior as a landmark of similar significance as the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower, have been abandoned, Stuff reports.

The controversial design had caused hefty debates since plans were revealed in October last year.

Wellington sculptor Denis Hall says he was dissappointed by Waikato District Council‘s decision not to support the design to be set up in Ngaruawahia.  

He went to China last year to search for a bronze foundry capable of of casting the statue.

“I poured so much time and energy into this project and all I got was a one sentence email from the council saying “the warrior icon does not have the support of the community, and so wer are unable to progress at this time”.”

Council spokesperson Narelle Watts said the community’s feedback made clear there was no support for the design.

– read the whole story here

– view a related blogpost here

Posted by: sabrina | February 22, 2010

Zealandia on Guardian green travel list

WELLINGTON’s Zealandia was named in a top ten “green travel list” by The Guardian.


The newspaper listed Zealandia (previously known as Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) as one of “green attractions for all the family” on its Guardian green travel list 2010.

Other attractions listed include an eco-roller coaster in Wales and an ecology and education centre in Ibiza.  

PureNewZealand, the twitter account of the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign worte online:

Congrats @Visit_ZEALANDIA for making the @GuardianTravel Green Travel List 2010!

The Green Travel List is a guide to the most outstanding “green” travel destinations and attractions, put together by greentraveller, a website by travel journalist Richard Hammond, and The Guardian newspaper.

It is supported by the Forum for the Future, a UK non-profit organisation promoting sustainable development.

– read more about the green travel list

Posted by: sabrina | February 19, 2010

New Zealand’s very own Pentagon

DOMINION POST: A luxury hotel is to be built in Pentagon-style at a cost of $100m to create 500 jobs in Taupo.

WORLD-FAMOUS IN NEW ZEALAND? The Pentagon inspires the design of a NZ hotel. (pic:

NLT Development, a consortium of ten investors from New Zealand and overseas, has lodged a resource consent application with Taupo Disctrict Council.

The hotel – overlooking Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park – is planned to be built on a six hectare site and is designed in the style of the Pentagon, the United States’ defence headquarters.

According to an economic assessment report, the development would add an estimated $18m (annually) to the economy and create up to 500 jobs during the 18-month construction and and about 420 once the hotel was up and running.

 – read more

Posted by: sabrina | February 12, 2010

The world’s best city to live in… is not in NZ

DOMINION POST: New Zealand’s capital city has come 23rd on a econmy magazine’s list of best cities to live in.

AUCKLAND: More liveable than Wellington? (pic:

The Economist Intelligence Unit, of The Economist magazine, published its annual “Liveability Ranking“, a survey on living standards in cities all around the world.

A range of categories, including culture and environment, education and healthcare facilities, was being used to determine the ranking.

Wellington scored for education, but lagged in other areas behind Auckland (which ranked 10th) and several Australian cities.


Top 10 cities   Bottom 10 cities
Rank  Country City Rating
1 Canada Vancouver 98.0
2 Austria Vienna 97.9
3 Australia Melbourne 97.5
4 Canada Toronto 97.2
5 Canada Calgary 96.6
6 Finland Helsinki 96.2
7 Australia Sydney 96.1
8= Australia Perth 95.9
8= Australia Adelaide 95.9
10  New Zealand  Auckland 95.7
Rank  Country City Rating
130= Senegal Dakar a 48.3
132 Sri Lanka Colombo 47.3
133 Nepal Kathmandu 47.1
134 Cameroon Douala 43.3
135 Pakistan Karachi 40.9
136 Nigeria Lagos 39.0
137 PNG Port Moresby 38.9
138= Algeria Algiers 38.7
138= Bangladesh Dhaka 38.7
140  Zimbabwe Harare 37.5
a Dakar shares its rank with Tehran (Iran).


Vancouver in Canada became first in the ranking and was dubbed “ideal” in all categories.

The Economist’s Liveability Ranking is not the only ranking system used globally to determine living conditions in several cities.

Other ranking systems include  for example the Mercer Quality of Living Survey.  – learn more

read the DomPost article on STUFF

Posted by: sabrina | February 8, 2010

Expedition to a land of ice and snow

TV3 NEWS: A group of New Zealanders heads off to Antarctica this month to go on an unexplored route to Mt Parry.

Mt Parry is 2520m high and is located on Brabant Island within British Antarctic territory.

The expedition will be the last of seven adventures funded through the Hillary Expedition Grants.

The grants have been awarded by Sport and Recreation New Zealand (Sparc)  in March last year.

On “Exploration Antarctica”, the climbers will sail to Brabant Island off the Antarctic Peninsula to make the first ascent of the West Ridge.

Sparc also plans to shoot a film about the five-week expedition.

– read more here (NZ HERALD)

– read more on Mt Parry and Antarctica

– visit the website of Antarcitca New Zealand


Posted by: sabrina | February 5, 2010

Luxury hotel dreams fly sky-high

Posted by: sabrina | February 1, 2010

GO ALL THE WAY… around the world

‘GO ALL THE WAY’ to New Zealand is what my fellow countrymen are being told by a new 100% Pure New Zealand advertising campaign for backpackers.

The campaign was launched in September last year; the website is online since January and paid online advertising had begun in Germany, the UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

100% PURE NEW ZEALAND: go all the way

Go all the way is an unmistakable message to young people from the other side of the world: no gap year is complete as long as you haven’t paid a visit to New Zealand.

According to Tourism New Zealand, during 2008/09 visitors from Germany were amongst the most satisfied of all international visitors to NZ. (Which is quite surprising for me, to be honest, because Germans generally tend to complain as they are rather hard to please – so in effect, this is good news: the Kiwis must have done a pretty good job here!)  

There was a 4%-increase in visitor numbers from Germany: almost 64,000 German visitors came to New Zealand in 2009, with 70% of them being holiday visitors.

The median length of stay was 22 days with an average expenditure of almost NZ$ 5,000 per visit.

The Go all the way-campaign targets mainly young people in order to increase the number of backpackers travelling to New Zealand.

The International Visitor Survey defines backpackers as travellers who spend more than 30% of their stay in backpacker accomodation and hostels.

BACKPACKER: with a backpack (pic:

A number of about 183,000 backpackers came to New Zealand in the year up to September 2009. This is an increase of 6% within one year.

In late 2009, Tourism New Zealand gave out 50 video cameras to travellers, who shot video footage of their experiences while travelling around the country.

Some of the videos can already be viewed on the Go all the way-website and are especially aimed at people who are still in the process of planning their trip (or haven’t even made the decision whether to go to NZ or not, yet).

Go all the way is also being actively supported by to “help coordinate industry involvement in the campaign”.

– get more information on Go all the way here and here

– see more stats here

– get an overview over the European tourism market here

follow Tourism New Zealand on Twitter

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