Video showing Auckland during lockdown has gone viral around the world

Publish Date
Friday, 17 April 2020, 9:01PM

A stunning video that captures the beauty and stillness of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is being shared across the world.

Produced by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) while New Zealand is in lockdown to tackle COVID-19, Papatūānuku is breathing has resonated with New Zealanders and the global community – so much so that the video has been translated into French and Spanish by two inspired viewers.

The two-minute video was made by ATEED staff with a goal of creating a connection and a message that reflects the region’s uniquely Māori culture while using existing Auckland footage.

The voiceover was recorded at home by 11-year-old Manawanui Maniapoto Mills in Muriwai, on Auckland’s rugged west coast, and features haunting taonga pūoro (traditional Māori instrumental sounds) by Moana and the Moahunters.

This includes the putaatara (opening conch shell sound), the purerehua (wind sound) and the kōauau (Māori flute sound at the end).

New Zealand’s Department of Conservation provided the native bird sounds.

The video has been viewed over half a million times across different platforms, has generated the most engagements on ATEED’s Visit Auckland Facebook page ever.

Within five days of its release on Facebook, it had generated more than 397,000 views, 7600 shares and had a potential reach of 1.2 million. It is also ATEED’s highest performing video on the Visit Auckland YouTube channel with more than 100,000 views – including people in Australia, US, UK and Canada.

ATEED’s General Manager Destination Steve Armitage says the video’s message was designed to be simple: this is a time of rest; take a moment to appreciate the stillness and the beauty of our region.

“While people are unable to visit our region at the moment, all of Auckland’s wonderful experiences will be waiting for the world when the time is right.

“We hope the video is encouraging for Kiwis entering their third week of lockdown. The message is positive and calming, presenting through an entirely different lens the sacrifice people are making to prevent the spread of Covid-19. We hope this video provides a real boost to our communities and beyond.”

Other destinations around the world have created showcase videos amid the COVID-19 crisis, so ATEED wanted to come up with something that was uniquely Auckland.

"We are proud of the positive feedback that we have received about our video. That will provide us with inspiration as we move more purposefully alongside our tourism industry towards recovery,” says Steve Armitage.

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

Mayor Phil Goff says the video is an inspiring of Auckland’s beautiful natural environment.

“As we all play our part in the fight against COVID-19 by staying home and staying local, Papatūānuku is breathing is a heartening glimpse of what we have to look forward to when the lockdown is lifted and a showcase of what our city has to offer,” he said