Giggles erupted among the stalks on Wednesday as children and adults darted through Whenuakura School's new Maize Maze near Patea.

The maze will be open for business next week, and there will be a community barbecue today for the official opening.

A once-empty paddock next to the school has been transformed with the donated help of local businesses, organisers said.

"The school's got a paddock," board of trustees chairman Joe Crawford said. "There was a big, old, ugly hedge running through it, and we chopped that out, flattened out the paddock."

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They decided to put in the maze as a fundraiser for the school. Waverley Harvesting donated time and use of its machinery, while Peko Contracting sprayed the area. Ravensdown provided fertiliser and Farm Source and Pioneer donated seed.

"I think it's going to work out quite well," Mr Crawford said.

Principal Mark Parsons said they would make more money than they would with an empty paddock. They would auction off the maize when it matured.

He said board member Andrew Hurley went through the maze the other day with his children and came out "just sweating profusely", so they would make sure people going through the maze were well hydrated. They would have a competition to get to certain points in the maze, and there would be prizes, including a barbecue.

A "fright night" for adults was was still in the planning stage.

The organisers hoped they could make enough money to turn the maze into a yearly project. It will open to the public each Sunday from February 28, from 10am to 6pm.

Entry for adults is $5, and kids a gold coin. Today's community barbecue will start at 5pm. Anyone wanting to make group bookings can call the school on 06 273 8029.

Whenuakura School is on Kaharoa Rd, off SH3.

-Go to Wanganui Chronicle website and click on videos for more on the maize.