Christy Ralphs sent this “virtual bouquet” to Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick on Tuesday to protest flower-growers’ non-essential status.

Waiheke’s Christy Ralphs has joined fellow flower-growers fed up with alert level 4 restrictions pushing them to the brink of ruin and they are calling for government to change the rules.

On Tuesday, 3500 bouquets of flowers were handed out at Parliament grounds in Wellington in protest at the level 4 lockdown rules which forbid florists to sell flowers and growers to distribute them.

The Petals for Parliament campaign comes on the back of the most recent lockdown which has hit at the worst time for flower farmers, with their most expensive spring crops going straight to the compost.

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield was presented with a bouquet at his 1pm Covid update at the Beehive. Meanwhile, Christy sent a “virtual bouquet” to Auckland MP Chloe Swarbrick.

This is the second year of disruption for Christy’s Nourish Gardens flower farm at Owhanake and she says growers are fed up with their harvest being the only perishable crop not allowed to be sold under Covid rules, forcing them to destroy months of hard work and investment.

They have applied for an exemption to allow the distribution of flowers in alert level 4. The paperwork has been filed and the matter is currently being discussed by officials.              • Liza Hamilton

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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