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Far North all aflutter about Christchurch Festival

Monarch Butterfly New Zealand Trust
www.monarch.org.nz

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for immediate release

Far North community all aflutter about Christchurch festival

The community of Russell has pooled its artistic talent over the last few weeks. The result: a bouquet of flowers being sent to Christchurch for the Festival of Flowers & Romance.

And how appropriate. The little seaside town is often referred to as 'Romantic Russell' because of its colourful gardens, vibrant history and heritage, art in all its forms, and friendly people uniting a mix of cultures. And when all these values are brought together... the touch of romance.

There are many other similarities. Just as Christchurch is the oldest established city in NZ, Russell is one of the north's oldest communities.

Well loved and maintained historical buildings in both centres reflect the settlements' importance in New Zealand's history. The oldest church in New Zealand, Russell's Christ Church, is an icon for people from all faiths and backgrounds.

Not long after Captain Hobson announced in that church that NZ would become a British colony, the first English people were settling on the Canterbury plains. Both ports - Kororareka Bay and Lyttelton - have histories steeped in whaling.

And both have extensive and highly respected museums.

So when the Russell-based Monarch Butterfly NZ Trust was invited to take part in the festival, the Russell community got involved too.

Not only are members of the Trust taking live Monarch butterflies south for the festival, but a giant mural using paint and collage techniques and depicting the flowers of Russell has inspired the townspeople.

While the banner is winging its way to Christchurch, community members are gathering their best Monarchs. These will be released at Hagley Park at the conclusion of the festival, bringing an awesome event to an end, one that will forever tie the two communities together.

ENDS

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