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New Zealand and China partner up on driver safety

Another Chinese celebrity has lent their hand to driver safety, working with Tourism New Zealand to produce a new video about the unique challenges faced when driving here.  

Chinese Canadian actor and celebrity Shawn Dou produced a short educational video in December when Shawn and adventure opinion leader Jonathan Zheng were in New Zealand filming a documentary Across New Zealand

The video will be distributed in China via social media and through Tourism New Zealand channels on July 7. It will also appear on Air New Zealand’s inflight entertainment system alongside other safer driving content.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says with winter upon us and school holidays in China, it’s a timely reminder for families travelling here.

“While data indicates only 3.8 per cent of all drivers involved in crashes between 2010 and 2014 were overseas licence holders, we recognise that we have a role to play in reducing that statistic further.

“There is no single response can fix the issue however we seek to influence people before they have even booked their holiday, getting them to stop and think: is self-drive in New Zealand really for me?

“It is difficult to assess the direct impact of this work, however our online research tells us that Chinese consumers considering a visit to New Zealand, say they feel more informed now about driving in New Zealand than when we first started this work.

“We also know that the endorsement and support of influencers like Shawn greatly extends our reach and adds weight to the message because it is coming from someone the community know and respect.”

Chinese national Shawn is an up and coming actor with several awards to his name, nominated for Best Actor (Overseas) in the 14th Huabiao Film Awards and in 2011, nominated for Best Actor by the China Film Director's Guild. In 2013, Dou starred in blockbuster Wolf Totem and in 2014 he starred in youth film To the Fore. In February 2015 he held his first photography exhibition.

Across New Zealand is a documentary that follows Shawn and adventure opinion leader Jonathan Zheng on their 30-day adventure around New Zealand, by motorcycle and car. It went to air in March 2016.

The episodes were released via six major online video sites and two Satellite TV Stations, generating over 1,300 pieces of news about New Zealand.