Three months of hard work has paid off for the U3A Rotorua knitting and crochet enthusiasts group - with their handmade tulips set to join thousands of fresh ones around the city.

The group presented their bouquet of 75 tulips to councillors Karen Hunt and Merepeka Raukawa-Tait at the Rotorua Lakes Council today.

The group's co-ordinator Miriam Ruberl said they had responded to a call for tulips on the Rotorua Tulip Festival Facebook page.

They meet fortnightly and currently have 12 members.


Mrs Ruberl said they tried seven different patterns to make the tulips. The hardest part was the stalks.

"Everybody learnt something. This is what community is about- doing something together and everybody being involved. We had a fabulous time."

Tomorrow is the International Day of Older Persons and Mrs Ruberl wanted to acknowledge this.

"The days of the older person watching TV is over - we're out doing things."

She said they had received support from the council but the project was self-funded by the group.

Council Creative Portfolio deputy lead Karen Hunt said she thought the customer service centre foyer was the perfect location for the tulips.

"This is where the residents and citizens come to. The tulips are created by residents for residents, it's community participation.

"What I love about the U3A is that they are active in the community and constantly looking for ways to be involved. Older people in our community are older and thriving."

Council People portfolio lead Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said the tulips were lovely.

"It's wonderful to be celebrating the tulip festival and the whole range of activities on offer. We appreciate the contribution of the older population. We hope they can enjoy themselves in this beautiful city which they've helped create themselves."

U3A Rotorua president Peter Wood said the organisation was for retired people who wanted to keep busy and use their faculties.