World famous in New Zealand

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The slogan as it appears on Lemon & Paeroa bottles.

The phrase "world famous in New Zealand" is a commonly used phrase within New Zealand and the slogan of Lemon & Paeroa soft drink.[1] It is used to describe items that though famous within New Zealand are unknown in the rest of the world, whereas similar items and people in larger countries would have a far higher media profile and would therefore be famous worldwide.

The term is simultaneously both parochially proud and self-deprecatingly humorous. It indicates a pride that a small country should be able to produce individuals which, in the opinion of the speaker, would be of a necessary standard to become world famous, yet at the same time it recognises that these individuals come from a country which does not have a high international recognition factor, and therefore these individuals are destined to remain "big fish in a small pond".


The phrase was created by Saatchi & Saatchi Auckland, the advertising agency of Coca-Cola Amatil at the time, and came into widespread use in 1993 when it was used as the slogan for the New Zealand soft drink Lemon & Paeroa (L&P).[2]

The phrase is similar to one coined by Canadian writer Mordecai Richler in the 9 April 1971 issue of Life referring to professional hockey players being "world famous – in Canada".[3] Ironically, it is a phrase that became popular in Canada despite being printed in an American magazine. It came to describe Canadian musicians, writers, and other cultural touchstones that were intensely popular inside of Canada but relatively unknown beyond its borders. The phrase was often associated with Richler himself.[4][5]

In 2009 Paeroa businessman Tony Coombe tried to prevent Coca-Cola Amatil from trademarking the phrase, saying it was a "Kiwi-ism" that belonged to all New Zealanders. However, an Intellectual Property Office commissioner disagreed, and when he later appealed to the High Court, the appeal was dismissed, allowing Coca-Cola Amatil to trademark the phrase.[6]

Other uses[edit]

The phrase has also been used as the title of a 1999 album, World Famous In New Zealand, a compilation album by New Zealand rock musicians released by Epic Records, and a 2001 book, World Famous in New Zealand: How New Zealand's Leading Firms Became World-Class Competitors, by Colin Campbell-Hunt, James Brocklesby, Sylvie Chetty, Lawrie Corbett, Sally Davenport, Deborah Jones, and Pat Walsh (Auckland, Auckland University Press).

The phrase inspired the title of the 18th episode of the popular show Power Rangers Dino Charge, "World Famous (in New Zealand)", and also takes place in New Zealand. Albert Smith, a tour guide and adventurer the rangers meet, also refers to himself with the phrase.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mace, W. "Kiwi's scrap with Coca-Cola world famous in NZ",, 17 December 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  2. ^ "'World Famous' soft drink battle to have day in court". NZ Herald. NZMA. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Canada:'An Immensely Boring Country' – Until Now". Life. Time, Inc. 9 April 1971. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Mordecai Richler's absence is keenly felt". Montreal Gazette. PostMedia Inc. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Margaret Atwood Inc". Maclean's. Rogers Digital Media. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  6. ^ "COOMBE V COCA-COLA AMATIL (NZ) LIMITED". Andrew Brown. Andrew Brown. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  7. ^ Power Rangers Dino Charge, Episode 17, "World Famous! (In New Zealand)", Original Airdate: November 7, 2015

External links[edit]