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Prince Harry has starred in a skit promoting his new eco-travel project which would see holidaymakers ‘rated’ for their green credentials.
In a bizarre five-minute video published on the YouTube page of the duke’s non-profit Travalyst today, the Queen’s grandson goes for a jog through ‘New Zealand woodland’ – but which is actually in California, where Harry filmed the skit.
Harry, who is seen sporting a ‘Girl Dad’ t-shirt and Apple Airpod headphones, then runs into Kiwi actor Rhys Darby, who accuses the prince of dropping a lolly wrapper at Auckland’s Bethells Beach during his tour of the country with his Meghan back in 2018.
Darby then explains that he is trialling a system where destinations rate people – just as people currently rate destinations – on their eco-credentials.
The Jumanji star, who carries a flipboard during the skit, gives Harry his three stars out of five and praises him for only using one towel during his stay, for buying local honey, and for not leaving the tap running while brushing his teeth.
Another rating agent played by actor David Fane then appears, who says that he is supposed to be rating the prince and that Darby mixed up a ‘Harry Styley’ with ‘Stylish Harry’. Darby tells Harry he actually has four stars, and proceeds to give him stamps on his arm.
At this point, the rating agents’ boss, New Zealand theatre actress Rena Owen, pulls up and greets Harry in Māori. Asked how he is, the duke responds back in Māori with ‘Kei te pai’ [I am fine] and admits the rating ‘has got me thinking’.
It comes as Harry today launched his new eco-travel project during an interview with Te Ao with Moana on Māori Television in New Zealand – a country he is known to love and that he and Meghan were said to have seriously discussed moving to when they quit as frontline royals. Instead, the couple plumped for a brief stay in Canada and then moved to Los Angeles.
Referring to the country in its Māori-language name Aotearoa, the duke called New Zealand a country of ‘sustainability pioneers’ and called his project his ‘new kaupapa‘ – the Māori word for work that is considered principled and for public good.
He goes on to praise Māori culture, which he says ‘inherently understands sustainable practices and how to take better care of our life-giving-land, which are critical lessons which we can all learn’.
Māori Television host Moana Maniapoto said Harry had been inspired by Māori values around Kaitiakitanga, which translates to ‘guardianship and protection’.
The duke said: ‘A few years ago I founded Travalyst, a non-profit dedicated to making sustainable tourism mainstream for all of us, and through that making systemic change. Every year more and more of us want better options, and for the first time Travalyst is striving to make that reality for everybody who wants to support local communities… and looking after nature and wildlife.
‘For our first campaign, we are encouraging people to flip the script. We’re always being asked for our feedback on our trips and experiences, but what would happen if our holiday rated us? It’s an important question to ask, and we want all of you to help us answer it.’
Travalyst will work with six travel brands including Skyscanner ‘to collect and display flight emissions data, so when consumers want to book a flight with lower emissions, they will be able to find the information they need easily’, the website reported.
Prince Harry holds his head in a cringe-inducing skit promoting his new eco-travel campaign
Harry runs into Darby, who accuses the duke of dropping a lolly wrapper on Auckland’s Bethells Beach
Asked how he is, Harry responds ‘Kei te pai’ [I am fine] and admits the rating ‘has got me thinking’
Harry sports a ‘Girl Dad’ t-shirt and Apple Airpod headphones while jogging in New Zealand in a promo video
Prince Harry has chosen to speak Māori to announce a new project in New Zealand today
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit Te Papaiouru Marae on October 31, 2018 in Rotorua, New Zealand
Harry, who served in the British military, joined fellow soldiers during his 2015 trip to the country, and learned the army’s Haka
Harry added: ‘I’ve been to Aotearoa a number of times throughout my life, and I’ve always felt a deep connection and respect towards the Māori people, who make me feel so welcome every time.
‘Most recently when I visited with my wife, we were touched by the connections we built and the incredible memories we have from our time there.
‘We were particularly honoured to meet with young people, who are dedicated to the Māori culture and to giving back to their communities and their country. They are rightly determined to make this world a better place for the next generation.
‘Guided by Māori knowledge and practices, Aotearoa is a country of sustainability pioneers. The Māori culture inherently understands sustainable practices and how to take better care of our life-giving-land, which are critical lessons which we can all learn.’
‘It’s interesting to hear someone who’s a royal speak about Māori values, given our history but also given the current debates about having Māori values at the forefront of decision making and relationships,’ she said.
‘We are open to talking to anyone… anything that particularly resonates with our values as Māori – whether we agree or not. We talk about the Crown every week. I’m hoping that we will have an interview further down the track to tease out that relationship between Māori and the Crown.’
In 2018, the Prince returned to New Zealand with Meghan Markle.
The pair discussed moving to there according to the Queen’s representative in the country.
That was more than a year before they stepped back from royal duties and moved to the US.
Former governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy recalled the couple saying they ‘could imagine living in a place like this’ and questioned whether it would be ‘theoretically possible’.
She told Associated Press in an interview: ‘They were looking at how they might raise their family.
‘And obviously they’ve made some decisions since.’
Harry and Meghan, shocked the world when in January 2020 they announced their intent to step back from senior royal roles, become financially independent and spend more time in North America.
The Queen and Prince Harry attend at the annual Chelsea Flower show at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 18, 2015
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and the Queen all pose for a picture during the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on June 26, 2018
Prince Harry returned to New Zealand with Meghan Markle in 2018, and loved it so much they discussed moving there
Recalling the couple’s trip to New Zealand, and how they appeared tired, Dame Patsy, 67, said: ‘I remember they’d just been down to the Abel Tasman National Park when we sat down and had a drink.
‘They said that they could imagine living in a place like this and wondered whether we thought it would be theoretically possible. Even possible for them to have a place in New Zealand.
‘Of course, we said, ‘Sure. It would be fine’. There are lots of opportunities to live in New Zealand, but that would be something that they’d have to explore.’
The discussion suggests the couple were considering options outside Britain less than six months after they married and well before their eventual move to the US.
Dame Patsy said she did not view it as a formal request for assistance but more of an informal discussion about the couple’s hopes for the future.
She said they seemed impressed with access to the outdoors and their interactions with New Zealanders.
During a widely watched interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, Harry and Meghan said they had offered to take a step back from royal life in a Commonwealth country such as South Africa or New Zealand.
Dame Patsy said she watched the interview but did not want to comment on internal royal family business.
‘I thought they were a lovely couple and I hope they’ve got a great future where they are,’ she said.