A Meals on Wheel volunteer knocks on the door. The door opens.

The friendly volunteer smiles, says hello, and hands over a hearty hot meal to the homeowner.

It's a service happening every night in neighbourhoods throughout New Zealand to support elderly, ill or disabled people living at home who would otherwise struggle to provide meals for themselves.

But today, in Kāpiti, the homeowner is in for a surprise when the volunteer gives them a small bouquet of flowers especially made for them.


The posy of flowers was assembled by the Kapiti Floral Art Club.

Each year the club creates fresh posies for the Meals on Wheels distributors to give to recipients in mid-June.

This time nearly 100 posies were distributed to people between Paraparaumu and Waikanae.

Posies made by the Kapiti Floral Art Club.
Posies made by the Kapiti Floral Art Club.

"We've been doing it for 31 years," club member Florence Carmichael said.

"Other clubs in the area were doing it. I originally came from Wellington and they used to do it.

"People are delighted to have somebody think of them.

"It's usually a dark, cold and horrible night and we just think it will brighten up their day."

Carmichael said the club had been using orchids as the main flower in the posies.

"We used to use garden flowers but there's not a lot of flowers around at this time of the year so we just use our own foliage, and then get orchids from Eva Orchids Nursery [in Manakau].


"We find the orchids just give it a little bit of class and they last well."

Feedback was always positive and sometimes a bit surprising.

"Quite often men will ring up surprised that they've got one but they thoroughly appreciate it."

A card is attached stating where the flowers came from as well as a phone number.

The club, comprising about 30 members, meets on the fourth Friday of every month in the Waikanae Memorial Hall at 12 noon.

Meetings are a chance to get together for a chat, create flower arrangements as well as listen to guest speakers, before some afternoon tea.

Newcomers are welcome to visit.

"It's usually women who have just retired and are looking to join something that's pleasant and stressless."

The club also delivers a flower arrangement to the Mary Potter Hospice day centre in Paraparaumu each Monday.

"We put it on their front desk just to cheer the people up.

"And we always do one over Christmas which lasts through to the new year."

Carmichael said she had always liked flowers.

"They're bright and cheerful.

"And as a child, after we'd come home from holiday, my mother would always say to me 'Go and get some flowers and put them in the vase, and then if anybody visits they won't notice that we haven't done any dusting for a while'.

"It's the centrepoint of a room."

The club is part of Floral Art New Zealand. www.fasnz.org.nz