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Aug 18, 2021 “We’re here to support New Zealanders through this” – Minister of Finance Grant Robertson
The masks hid their smiles, but Morag Burden had no doubts about the community’s response when she offered $ 2,000 in flowers this morning.
The owner of Devonport Flowers posted on her community’s Facebook page to say that her fresh stock, including roses, a mix of spring and tropical flower varieties and some plants, is free to take.
Like all non-essential businesses, the North Shore florist is closed under Level 4 lockdown restrictions.
The brief period between a man’s announcement from Devonport was New Zealand’s first confirmed community case of Covid-19 since February and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement of a nationwide lockdown left up to Burden has no choice but to donate or throw it away.
“I had a cooler full of flowers and not much notice to sell them, so I posted on the Devonport community Facebook page to say I was giving them away, and within half an hour they were gone.
“Hopefully we will have comforted a few people this morning,” said Burden.
“I think everyone wanted some blooming sunshine today.”
The store is closed but Burden was cleaning inside as people arrived to pick up the flowers and, with their smiles hidden behind face masks, it was clear the gift was a welcome boost in a difficult time.
“I had a lot of waves and thumbs up at the window.”
She had donated around $ 2,000 of shares, all of which were uninsured, Burden said.
“The insurance does not cover the Covid.”
But Devonport Flowers would resume operations – contactless – once the area finally returned to level 3, and she knew the community would show their support again.
“They will all support me when we are open again. Devonport is a lovely village and we will support each other.”
The past 18 months, which included last year’s first Level 4 lockdown and three subsequent Level 3 lockdowns in Auckland before this week’s return to Level 4, had been “tough” but the demand for flowers was still there, said Burden.
“Flowers are something people always like to have. This continued throughout level three.
“There are still happy times – new babies, birthdays, birthdays, and there are sad times. These things don’t stop.”