Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Disneyization" in New Zealand

Disneyization seems to affect New Zealand in a slower pace. Unlike the some countries where disneyization just pops out everywhere, it appears to grow gradually in New Zealand than just an “explosion”.  
-          Theming
There are indeed an increase in the number of themed environments being set up, such as restaurants, hotels and theme parks. Themed attractions are much more captivating and appealing to both the locals and tourists. A theme allows each attraction to have an identity so as to be differentiated from the other attractions, including international competitors. Some examples are the Rainbow’s End Theme Park in Auckland, Adrenaline Forest in Christchurch, Treehouse Restaurant in Auckland. New Zealand has also just opens its first water theme park on November 15 and this will add on to the collection of theme parks New Zealand currently has.

Rainbow's End Theme Park in Auckland
-          Hybrid consumption
Auckland is considered to be the busiest and most concentrated region in New Zealand. It acts as a business hub in the country, and also, a lively city where any kinds of entertainments can be found. Restaurants (Treehouse Restaurant), casinos (Sky City Casino), shopping malls (Sylvia Park Shopping Mall), theme parks (Rainbow’s End) and hotels (Hilton Auckland Hotel), all in one package. With everything available in one area, it is hard to describe Auckland, now that it has become so packed with different attractions to suit the various types of tourists. In the Sky City Hotel alone, one can find restaurants, accommodation, casino, and many other entertainments in just one place.
Sky Tower
Casino at Sky Tower
Hotel... Also at Sky Tower

-          Merchandising
Merchandising of one’s famous icon would help to boost the identity of that particular country. As such, the nation’s icon, the Kiwi bird can be now found printed on t-shirts, key chains, bookmarks, and many more. Even toys made to resemble Kiwi birds are known to be perfect gifts for young children. Fans of the New Zealand’s Rugby Team could also buy their T-shirts embroidered with the Team’s logo and a picture of a Kiwi bird. These Kiwi’s souvenirs can be easily found and purchased from any souvenir shops, theme parks and hotels across the countries, and even online. 

Shirt with Kiwi Icon

Kiwi Toy

"I Love NZ"... National Logo Cushion

-          Performative Labour
Haka Performace Group
Never seen a Haka Dance before? Just head down to Pohutu Cultural Theatre in Rotorua and the locals there will perform what you want to see. Dance, songs, sharing of myths and legends, they will demonstrate to you in a theatre setting by your request. Another performing group, the Pounamu, will be proud to showcase to you their traditions “to meet your needs.” This is certainly convenient for the tourists as they can experience all these sacred arts easily. However, it shows that the traditional dance can now be performed any time regardless of the occasion. These dances will no longer hold any significance as they are performed as and when the tourists request (no longer just during an important festival). It becomes a staged performance, where the dancers and performers are now seen as entertainers on a stage to deliberately showcase their traditions.

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