‘I feel cheated’: US backpacker says NZ’s ‘clean, green’ image is a myth

Marius Viktorius
Marius Viktorius

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New Zealand? Millions of sheep on rolling hills, stunning mountains, or pristine rivers?

United States backpacker Marius Miliunas called New Zealand’s clean and green image a Myth. Stating that trash, pollution, dirty waterways and cars.

'I feel cheated': US backpacker says NZ's 'clean, green' image is a myth
A United States backpacker has blasted New Zealand’s clean and green image as a ‘myth’.

Marius Miliunas an avid blogger has spent the past four months backpacking throughout New Zealand. In his blog he has written about freedom camping, Maori culture and friendly locals.

While he loved his travels throughout New Zealand, Marius believes the environment does not live up to the advertising campaign.

Marius said the 100% Pure marketing campaign gave him the impression that New Zealand is a clean and green sustainable country, and this is far from the truth.

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In reality, plastic bags and trash are abundant, and while there is recycling, it’s not in the culture.

Marius goes on to say that the New Zealand culture creates a lot of trash and they haven’t found a sustainable solution for disposing it, or curbing the  consumerist culture.

A few of Marius’s points:

  • While New Zealand has some of the most amazing natural phenomenon, farming, consumerism and tourism have impacted it
  • There are very few, if any, rivers you can safely drink from
  • Much of the native bush had been cleared, only a tiny fraction of the native bush remains.
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Marius really enjoyed learning the Maori culture, and meeting friendly New Zealanders. “The more time I spent here, the more I saw just how friendly the locals are, especially the Maori.” He said.

And Marius  goes on further to say that “We should not look at New Zealand as a role model for pure nature. Instead, we should look at it as a role model for a trusting people.”

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