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Lord of the Rings actor slams New Zealand's clean image

DPA German Press Agency logo DPA German Press Agency 18/12/2016 Syndigate.info

The real Middle-Earth at the 1250 acres farmland near Matamata, a small town in the north island of New Zealand. © Shutterstock The real Middle-Earth at the 1250 acres farmland near Matamata, a small town in the north island of New Zealand. A former 'Lord of the Rings' actor wants tourists to know that New Zealand is not "green and clean."

Bruce Hopkins who played Gamling in the film trilogy and now works as a tour guide between acting jobs tells his clients that the Pacific country with 4.7 million inhabitants is "no land of milk and honey."

"I drive around this land I am astounded how polluted New Zealand has been allowed to become, totally betraying the tag line used to sell our beautiful country wholesale as a tourist destination - NZ 100 Per Cent Pure," he wrote on his Facebook page.  

"We have a large number of endangered species and many depleted fish stocks."

He told Fairfax Media, he was particularly concerned with the impact of dairying on the country's waterways, which were "just gutter holes, they are sewer pipes".

"You wouldn't even think of dipping your big toe into some of these places."

Acting Tourism Minister Paula Bennett told Fairfax the Government was working on improving the the quality of New Zealand's waterways. 

Of the 100 Per Cent Pure campaign, she said: "It's an award-winning campaign that is working brilliantly for New Zealand with record growth in visitor numbers. It's not, and never has been, an environmental measure."

New Zealand tourism has been using the slogan "New Zealand - 100 Per Cent Pure" for 17 years and had no intention of changing it, she added. 


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