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NZ Tourism Website Forced to Re-brand

Popular New Zealand Tourism Website Forced to Re-brand

Auckland, New Zealand: April 15, 2005 – The popular ‘New Zealand Focus’ tourism information website has taken the surprising move to re-brand in the wake of a New Zealand government press release about a new trade initiative. A website that has worked hard to achieve its current success is risking it all as they humbly step aside to let ‘the big boys’ take their next piece of pie.

‘New Zealand Focus’ ( has earned quite a reputation over their first seven months of operation, quickly becoming one of New Zealand’s most recognised and fastest growing tourism information portal. With a free tourism directory being rapidly filled with accommodation providers and other tourism operators, the website moves strength to strength. But now they are being forced to throw their hard earned reputation to the wind, and start again.

In late March, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) released plans to develop a concept centre in Hong Kong to promote trade, tourism, and immigration to New Zealand. The centre is to carry the name ‘New Zealand Focus’. Discovering that NZTE had also registered a domain name with only a hyphen of difference from his (, Greg Scowen, the initiator of New Zealand Focus, realised that the resulting confusion would be immense. Contact was made with NZTE in early April asking them to reconsider their use of the name or to offer alternative measures to resolve the situation. The response from NZTE was negative, claiming that no trademark, domain name or confusion issues existed. They would not cease from use of the identical trading name or similar domain name.

Despite confidence from trademark attorneys, Scowen has taken the surprising move in deciding to re-brand ‘New Zealand Focus’. “We simply cannot compete with the legal might and money that the government has behind them”. Feeling disappointed in the situation, and strong-armed (albeit in a gentle way) by more powerful players, the decision to re-brand was taken on Tuesday 12th April. “I do not have the time or energy to fight this, regardless of the principle involved. I guess we will re-brand and come back fighting bigger and better… I just hope our visitors understand.”

Establishing a brand is a big job, re-establishing an existing brand under a new name is even harder. Following careful consideration, the new name of ‘New Zealand Focus’ will be ‘Pleppin: New Zealand’. ‘Pleppin’ comes from the language of a South Australian Aboriginal tribe called ‘The Narrinyeri’ and carries the meaning feel or touch. “We want visitors to our site not just to come to and see New Zealand, we want them to feel New Zealand, to touch New Zealand”. The new website ( should be operational within days and will be linked automatically from ‘New Zealand Focus’. The structure and systems in place at New Zealand Focus will be carried over to the new site, allowing for continued free listings for all New Zealand tourism operators in the fast growing directory.

‘New Zealand Focus’ and ‘Pleppin’ ( are websites developed by CreatixMedia, a small website development and translation team based in New Zealand and Switzerland. For further information, or to make contact with CreatixMedia please visit their site at

CONTACT INFROMATION Greg Scowen Pleppin NZ (New Zealand Focus) Orewa, New Zealand or

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