Atheryn writes: If you’re like me, you probably just finished watching the two features on New Zealand that were shown on the Travel Channel a little while ago (“New Zealand: The Royal Tour” and “Secrets of New Zealand”). Being a New Zealander myself, I just thought I’d make a comment, particularly in regard to the second feature.

“Secrets of New Zealand” depicted New Zealand as being a country teatering on the edge of nationwide disaster – that is simply not the case. It is true that New Zealand has volcanoes and experiences earthquakes from time to time, but not in the way that was made out. The truth is, as far as I can remember, Mt Ruapehu (Mt Doom in LOTR) has only erupted once in my lifetime, and that was in 1996. Most of the earthquakes I’ve experienced in my time were very small ones – usually so small you don’t even notice them. It is true that the waters between the North and South Islands (The Cook Strait) are rough sometimes, but when they are, the interisland ferries simply don’t make any crossings until it is safe. While the programme did show a lot of the natural caution-points New Zealand has, it did over-dramatise them severely – so please, if you have any desire to come to New Zealand for a holiday, whether it’s to visit LOTR locations or simply to relax, don’t let this programme scare you away. New Zealand is just as safe as any other holiday destination out there.