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Florists Compete for Flowers Work Wonders National Titles

28 February 2013

Young Florists Compete For Flowers Work Wonders National Titles

New Zealand’s budding young florists will need to demonstrate their creativity and flair when they compete for national titles at the Ellerslie International Flower Show next week.

Twelve young florists from around the country are vying for the prestigious titles of Senior and Junior Apprentice Florist of the Year, with this year’s theme ‘Whatever the weather’.

Given props, fresh flowers and plants to design and create individual flower shop settings, they will complete 14 tasks over five days under the watchful eye of the public and the judges. Their work will be judged on composition, colour, idea and technique.

“It’s not going to be easy judging with this amount of talent,” says Joy Knight, of Florists New Zealand Incorporated (FLONZI), who is the competition convenor.

If the young florists impress the judges they could walk away not only with the title of best senior or junior apprentice florist in New Zealand, but also with a $1500 training scholarship from HITO (NZ Horticultural Industry Training Organisation).

“So many young florists who have competed here go on to great things,’’ says Joy Knight.

“Last year’s second place winner went on to win WorldSkills and to represent New Zealand at the 2013 WorldSkills International Floristry Competition in Germany. She is a young 18-year-old from Flowers and Balloons in Ashburton, Nicole Hazlehurst, and she’ll be back at Ellerslie again this year showing her skills.’’

Ellerslie International Flower Show exhibition manager Kate Hillier says the competition, sponsored by Flowers Work Wonders, is building to become the pre-eminent competition for young florists in the Southern Hemisphere.

“It gets better every year,” she says. “This year will be outstanding.’’

Visitors to Ellerslie will be able to watch the young florists compete at scheduled times every day of the Show. Details of the tasks they will be performing will be posted on the events board within the Ellerslie village daily.

On Friday 8 March at 10am the young apprentices will be outfitting 12 students from Villa Maria College in dresses they have decorated with flowers. During another task they will have to create a letterbox with a small garden around it also themed around ‘Whatever the weather’.

The overall title winners and the winner of the public choice award will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday 10 March.

The top three competitors in the junior category will go on to the WorldSkills National and International competitions, while the winner of the senior category will progress onto the Young Horticulturalist of the Year competition.

Florists New Zealand Incorporated (FLONZI) is a non-profit incorporated society established in 2006 with a representative on the board of the New Zealand Horticulture Industry Training Organisation (NZHITO).

The floristry apprenticeship is designed to take three years to complete. Apprentices work towards the National Certificates in Floristry (Advanced) (Level 4) qualification.


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