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Air New Zealand unveils live ‘human bird’

23 May 2006

Air New Zealand unveils live ‘human bird’ at London’s Chelsea Flower Show

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A striking New Zealand ‘human bird’ flown to London by Air New Zealand captivated VIP guests and top media from around the world yesterday at the opening of the 2006 Chelsea Flower Garden Show. An embodiment of New Zealand beauty, ‘Bird of the Sea’, a never-before-seen piece of WearableArt, was unveiled at Tourism New Zealand’s 100% Pure New Zealand Garden at Chelsea, adding a live, quirky and uniquely New Zealand element to Auckland’s West Coast-inspired garden.

As a key supporter of the 100% Pure New Zealand Garden, Air New Zealand wanted to bring a piece of New Zealand to London that portrayed both the country’s natural scenery and ingenious number 8 wire attitude.

“The breathtaking ’Bird of the Sea’ World of WearableArt garment reflects the colours of New Zealand’s beautiful scenery and highlights our creative spirit as a nation. As a sponsor of both the Garden at Chelsea and the annual Montana World of WearableArt Awards, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to give the 160,000-plus Chelsea visitors a taste of some of New Zealand’s extraordinary creativity,” said Ed Sims, Air New Zealand’s Group General Manager, International Airlines.

Created by New Zealand designer Claire Prebble, the WOW garment was designed for Air New Zealand for this year’s WOW Awards, and features a distinctive headpiece to resemble a bird’s beak and a long pair of feathered wings, all based on different hues of blue. Supporting the 100% Pure New Zealand Garden is just one of the ways Air New Zealand is working with Tourism New Zealand offshore to increase awareness and stimulate travel demand to New Zealand “Awareness and interest in New Zealand soared almost overnight after Tourism New Zealand’s 100% Pure New Zealand Ora - Garden of Well-Being won gold at the 2004 Chelsea Show,” said Mr Sims.

“The event becomes even more important for us this year as we prepare to launch our second daily service London via Hong Kong in October. The new service will double our current capacity going to and from London to New Zealand, so it’s crucial that New Zealand stays at the front of travellers’ minds.”

Translated to Manu te Moana in Maori, ‘Bird of the Sea’ is made from copper wire, dupion silk and hand-dyed silk organza. The 100% Pure New Zealand Garden is inspired by Auckland’s West Coast, complete with kauri and Pohutukawa, and is designed by Xanthe White. ‘Bird of the Sea’ was unveiled at the garden on Monday morning (UK local time) and was modelled by internationally renowned Kiwi model Chloe-Alexa.


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