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How to do it...Sally Reihana shows how to weave with flax.PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

by Chris Tobin

Cruise-ship visitors to Timaru will have a special treat in store when they arrive early next year.

As the travellers disembark at the wharf to take in the sights of the city and area, each person will be given a rose made of flax.

Keen learners…Emily Wilson (14), left, Dawn Dewar, Bridget Wilson, and Barbara Faith turing flax leaves into roses. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

Last Wednesday evening the first of several harakeke training sessions were held at PrimePort Timaru, tutored by expert Sally Reihana of Te Runanga o Arowhenua.

One of the organisers, Maria Christie, said the idea of creating wax roses developed through linking two tourism attractions, Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden with Te Ana Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art.

“It’s combining the rose garden and Maori culture together”, Mrs Christie said.

Blooming good…A completed rose awaits cruiseship passengers. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

More workshops would be held with the intention of stockpiling 2000 roses to cover the entire cruise ship season.

The project is being run collaboratively between PrimePort Timaru, Aoraki Development and Aoraki Tourism.

Helping hand…Holly Dupont (8) receives some advice from Amy Reihana. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

Aoraki Development operations manager Di Hay said they were delighted with the turnout for the first workshop.

A total of 40 people attended.