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Medal winning exhibit to stay at Botanic Gardens

Gold medal winning exhibit to stay at Botanic Gardens

29 November 2004

Ellerslie Flower Show gold medal winning garden, the "Mythological Maze of Maui", will have a permanent home at the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens from next year.

The Auckland Regional Council entry was one of only three outdoor exhibition gardens to win Gold at this year's Ellerslie Flower Show at the Botanic Gardens.

Designed by Jill Rice, it is an interactive children's adventure garden inspired by the Maori legend of Maui meeting his parents.

The maze takes visitors through lush native plants and high ponga walls, where the shady interior gives parents some cool, quiet time while their children explore the tunnels of the underworld. The story of Maui turning in to a kereru, following his mother to the underworld, and meeting with his father is told throughout the maze.

ARC Parks and Heritage Committee Chair Sandra Coney says the award winning garden will become part of the Potter Children's Garden, a major new attraction under construction a the Botanic Gardens.

"We are delighted that the maze will have a permanent home at the Botanic Gardens," Cr Coney says. The garden is both fun and educational for children and it is fantastic that visitors to the Botanic Gardens will be able to experience it all year round. I congratulate all those who have been a part of its creation."

David Johnson of Outdoor Images Landscaping constructed the maze, with special input from Designer Ra O'Dowd. Sunnah Thompson of Matariki Maori Carvers and Weavers has produced a number of exceptional carvings as part of the maze and these are bound to be popular with visitors.

The Potter Children's Garden is sponsored by the Potter Masonic Trust, a trust administered by Freemasons New Zealand to fund projects for children and youth. It is scheduled to open in March 2005.

Caption for photo attached: Sunnah Thompson's carved figures mark the entrance to the Mythological Maze of Maui which won gold for the ARC at the Ellerslie Flower Show.

ENDS

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