Easter bunny loses eggs in Elms garden

Andrew Gregg, Troy Edgecombe (Easter bunny), Rosie Burr and Rose Solly. Video and photos by Rosalie Liddle Crawford.

Click the image above to watch the video

The Easter bunny has a dilemma. The basket of Easter eggs tipped over and all the eggs were lost in The Elms Te Papa gardens.

One of the gardeners, Rosie Burr, was wearing a dress and bonnet in the style that Alice Maxwell used to wear.

She looked in her wheelbarrow. No eggs! She and the rest of the Elms Te Papa staff didn’t know what to do so they asked for help from the children at the Elm Tree Early Learning Centre across the road.

The first group of children came over at 10am to help hunt for the Easter eggs. Andrew Gregg, the manager of The Elms Te Papa welcomed them wearing his pink tutu and bunny ears. One child started crying. Where was the Easter bunny?

Rose Solly who was also wearing a pink tutu explained to the children that the Easter bunny had lost the eggs on the north lawn, and their help was needed to find them. And to help find the Easter bunny.

Meanwhile Troy Edgecombe, the other gardener, had mysteriously disappeared, but everyone forgot about that because suddenly the Easter bunny was spotted behind some trees.  

Oliver Talbut, 4, Henry Young, 2, and Florence Milligan, 2, with the Elms Te Papa Easter bunny.

Finally the Easter bunny joined the group of children and the serious hunt for the eggs could begin.

Later when Troy mysteriously reappeared, he was asked about the egg hunt.

“Today we’re starting off hopefully an annual thing that we’ll have the Thursday before Easter,” says Troy. “An Easter egg hunt for the children over the road at the Elm Tree Early Learning Centre. I think it’s going to be fun. The rain isn’t here, it’s a beautiful day and we’ve set up the whole north lawn of The Elms Te Papa with places where we’ve hidden eggs around.”

Troy’s bunny suit came from the USA.

“Because all the ones I found here were child-frightening-like, very scary,” says Troy.

“There are three groups today. There’s different age groups over there at Elm Tree, so we’re having one group at 10am, one at 1.30 pm and another group at 3pm.  One group has about 25 children, one has 20-ish and the other has 16-ish.”

Eggs hidden in the north garden of The Elms Te Papa

Troy had roped his wife Julia into his latest escapade.

“She works at the Katikati Library,” says Troy. “She made the Easter egg bags, sourcing the plastic eggs and material from Spotlight. Each child collects eggs through the garden and they’ll be exchanged for chocolate eggs or an equivalent if they were chocolate intolerant.”

How did he manage to convince Andrew to wear the pink tutu?

“Andrew liked the rabbits and the bunny idea.” Says Troy.

“We haven’t done this before,” says Andrew. “I guess with the childcare facility going in across the road, I’ve always been keen for us to develop a relationship with them, so the kids feel like this is here and available for them. Effectively they are the future kaitiaki or guardians of this place so it’s important that they are aware that this exists and that they’re familiar with it and it becomes part of their childhood experience.”

The children were each given a bag to collect eggs in and set off across the lawn with the Easter bunny. They found all the eggs. The Easter bunny is happy once again.

At the end of 2017, the Elms Te Papa Tauranga staff received the news that the New Zealand Gardens Trust had registered the garden as a “Garden of Significance” with a 5-star rating. 


The Easter bunny getting help to find the eggs

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