When you think of New Zealand, do you think of a lush, green landscape? Rolling mountains and glistening waterfalls? Gorgeous, sandy beaches? For most of us, the country evokes amazing imagery, and rightly so. The seemingly untouched beauty of the land makes such an impact that it has been utilized as the backdrop for box-office hits like Lord of the Rings. With such a treasure it is no surprise that New Zealand takes the care of their country very seriously. When traveling there, you are checked thoroughly for any food, drink, animals, or plants that may have an affect on the delicate ecosystem. According to an article recently published, New Zealand has now added an additional requirement when entering the country, the Tiaka Promise.
Tiaka translates to guard, preserve, foster, protect and shelter in the Māori language, and that is exactly what this promise is poised to do. The premise is to ask all people traveling into the country to treat not only the grounds, but the customs and each other with respect and care. Leaving no trace, traveling carefully, treating everyone with kindness, and keeping an open mind to local customs are all included. The promise covers care from earth to sky and creatures big and small.
This attitude about careful care, including care for themselves, likely lends to the happiness of the country, ranking in the top ten of the worlds happiest for a good reason. Hopefully we can take a tip from New Zealand and make our own Tiaka promise, bringing it with us wherever we travel.