IKEA has been forced to apologise after one of its world map artworks completely missed out New Zealand. On the colourful product, next to Australia where New Zealand actually lies – is a blank space. Social media users have lambasted the Swedish store for its glaring geographical gaffe. The news is particularly embarrassing given IKEA is soon to open a store in Auckland, New Zealand.
The new megastore will sell 7,000 products and include a restaurant. There are further plans to potentially open a second store outside of Auckland as well.
The erroneous Björksta map was first spotted in a branch of IKEA in Washington DC in the USA.
An image of the £30 print was uploaded to Reddit on Thursday with the caption: “Ikea’s map game is not on point.”
Twitter users have taken to the platform to share their horror at the mistake.
“What’s the deal IKEA with forgetting an entire country off the world maps you are selling? New Zealand exists!” a Twitter user posted.
One Auckland resident tweeted a picture of the map with the comment: “Think IKEA need to add New Zealand to their map before the first store here opens.”
IKEA has since apologised for the incorrect world map print and has pledged to amend it.
An IKEA spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “IKEA is responsible for securing correct and compliant motifs on all our products.
“We can see that the process has failed regarding the product BJÖRKSTA world map – we regret this mistake and apologise.
“We will take the necessary actions and the product is now being phased out from our stores.”
New Zealanders have revealed omitting their country is shockingly not rare – and have even set up a Reddit page devoted to world maps that don’t feature New Zealand.
Incredibly, IKEA is not alone is making the gaffe. Maps displayed in Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC, the UN, Starbucks, Central Park Zoo, and even a tablecloth from UK retailer John Lewis also do not feature New Zealand.
Last year New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern teamed up with Flight of the Conchords’ Rhys Darby on a campaign to rectify the absence of the country on so many world maps.
Ardern uploaded a tongue-in-cheek video highlighting the issue with the caption: “Admit it. You’ve noticed the absence of New Zealand on world maps before too.
“Some call it a conspiracy (I’m looking at you Rhys Darby) some call it negligent… either way it’s time for a wee campaign! Help us.” The campaign had the hashtag #getNZonthemap.
However, in good news for New Zealand, it has been named as one of the top five least corrupt countries in the world.