Sit at a distance, stand as one. A new tourism video showing Auckland’s natural landscape has gone global by gaining traction on social media.

The new Auckland tourism video entitled ‘Papatūānuku (our earth mother) is Breathing’ captures the beauty and stillness of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, New Zealand. The video is being shared far and wide across the world.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) produced the video, which beautifully showcases the stunning landscape, in lockdown to help tackle COVID-19 and send a message of peace in these trying times.

Within only five days of its release on Facebook, the video had generated more than 397,000 views and had been shared 7600 times. It has built such a following that it has even been translated into French and Spanish by inspired viewers.

The two-minute video is the highest performing ATEED video on the Visit Auckland Youtube channel with more than 100,000 views from around the world, including the US, Canada and the UK.

The goal of the video, created by ATEED staff using existing Auckland footage, was to create connection and send a message reflective of the region’s uniquely Māori culture.

Eleven-year-old Manawanui Maniapoto Mills from Muriwai recorded the voiceover at home. The video also features haunting taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instrumental sounds) by Moana and the Moahunters including the putaatara (opening conch shell sound), the purerehua (wind sound) and the kōauau (Māori flute sound at the end).

The video’s message was designed to be simple, to let people know that this is the time to take a moment to reflect and appreciate the stillness and beauty of the region, and of our own surroundings, wherever we may be.

“Although people cannot visit our region at the moment, all of Auckland’s amazing experiences will be waiting for the world when the time is right. We hope this video is encouraging for Kiwis entering their third week of lockdown,” said ATEED’s General Manager Steve Armitage.

“The message of the video is positive and calming, presenting the sacrifice people are making through an entirely different lens. We hope this video provides a real boost to our communities and beyond.”

Virtual travel has become a global trend in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, ATEED wanted to uniquely showcase Auckland.

“As we all play our part in the fight against COVID-19, Papatūānuku is breathing is a heartening glimpse at what we have to look forward to when the lockdown is lifted and a showcase of what our city has to offer,” commented Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

ATEED has received an enormous amount of positive feedback about the video.

“It will provide us with inspiration as we move more purposefully alongside our tourism industry towards recovery,” continued Armitage.

“We are so grateful to all those who collaborated with us on this special project and gifted us the use of their material.”

To watch ‘Papatūānuku is Breathing’ click here.