Expression and Emotion: Cultural Diplomacy and Nation Branding in New Zealand
States need to be recognised by other states to be legitimate and diplomacy is the way in which states represent their interests overseas. Cultural diplomacy is an important part of this diplomacy as it allows states to present their culture internationally and use it to build and maintain relationships that will be of value. Historically, cultural diplomacy has been a long term project, and the benefits to the state are not always immediate. In recent years, the more short term and immediate benefits of nation branding have become popular with states. Nation branding allows a state to promote itself and its products, resulting in quick and often very profitable economic benefits to the country. Like cultural diplomacy, nation branding draws heavily on the culture and imagery of the nation and uses it to gain an advantage. This thesis looks at New Zealand’s cultural diplomacy programmes and the very successful 100% Pure New Zealand nation brand. It looks at the way in which the cultural diplomacy programme meets New Zealand’s aims and is able to build long term relationships, promote understanding and protect its cultural sovereignty, and examines the way in which the new Zealand nation brand has managed to build such a distinctive image and attract customers. The thesis argues that the traditional long term cultural diplomacy is beginning to be changed as economic aims take precedence and it discusses some implications of this for New Zealand.