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Baah: Tirau Makes its Distinctive Impact

A Sheep, A Dog and The Good Shepherd

Nothing could seem more obvious, a pastoral scene of a shepherd with his dog and flock. But at Tirau nothing is obvious at all. This small township in the centre of New Zealand's North Island is a strip town, like 29 Palms in the Californian High Desert. It lies between Rotarua and Hamilton on the main highway. And its business community and tourism bureau wanted more stop overs for lunch, browsing for souvenirs and perhaps overnight accommodations.

One especialy enterprising retailer selling wollens decided that he would build himself a store from corrugated iron that looked like a giant sheep. He did and it is shown with the copycats next door sporting the sheep dog, officially opened by Helen Clark the country's Prime Minister. Both are tastefully complemented by the Good Shepherd also pictured created in the grouunds of the church next door of that very name.

Click on images throughout to enlarge

.... but why keep a good idea to yourself? Why not get the whole Main Street to add their own dedicated corrugated iron imagery to maximise the impact. And just in case that seems quite modest really, a castle has been built to house a museum for one of the largest collections of dolls to be found in the country just off Main Street.

Its impossible not to stop as you drive along, especially at rhodeddenron time!

Published Date: October 1st 2005

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