“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,” a spokesman told the BBC. “We regret this mistake and apologize. We will take the necessary actions and the product is now being phased out from our stores.”
The offending map is still, however, featured on the company's website.
The company’s embarrassing omission was first pointed out on the MapsWithoutNZ forum on the internet site Reddit, where users post examples of mapmakers overlooking the island nation.
“Ikea's map game is not on point,” Reddit user Jibbles66 wrote posting a photo of the Björksta world map, which has nothing but empty ocean southeast of Australia.
“Wonder if they’re going to sell these maps in the new Auckland store,” Jeremy Kitchen, another user added, picking up on the company's announcement last month that it would open in the country “in a couple of years”.
The failure to include the country on maps has become a running joke in New Zealand, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last year launching the #GetNZonthemap video with the comedian Rhys Darby.
New Zealanders flocked to social media to express their outrage.
— Tiberius'sHuman (@DemHyenas) February 7, 2019
Australians, meanwhile, jumped at the opportunity to have a dig at their smaller neighbour.
Others raised the possibility that Ikea might be correct, in a repeat of the Finland Conspiracy internet meme, where users concoct arguments to support the theory that Finland does not in fact exist.
Is it IKEA is wrong, or are they the only ones that know the truth that New Zealand is just a mythical island?
— IMStarbuck (@StarbuckIm) February 9, 2019