Puns no bull

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Front Page - SAM KILMISTER

Bulls – the pun cen­tral of New Zealand – is at it again, this time erect­ing a series of life-sized an­gus bull stat­ues greet­ing mo­torists go­ing in and out of town.

Four bulls are erected, with an­other 13 stat­ues to go up in the next two weeks. Project co­or­di­na­tor Paul Geurt­jens said there were also four cows and six calves to be raised.

‘‘We’ll be putting them up across a range of lo­ca­tions – out at Scotts Ferry, in Bulls, Bulls and Clifton schools, out­side the doc­tors and Scully’s Laven­der shop in town,’’ Geurt­jens said.

‘‘The rest will be placed in strate­gic places around town.’’

The stat­ues were made by Lifestyle Stat­ues based in New Jersey, United States, and cost $52,000.

The Ran­gi­tikei town is known for its unique play on words, but The Reed Dic­tionary of New Zealand Place Names ex­plains the town did not take its name from the an­i­mal.

The town is named af­ter James Bull, who founded it and owned the first gen­eral store. The town was orig­i­nally called Bull Town, but this was changed to Clifton and then re­named back to Bulls at the urg­ing of jour­nal­ist and politi­cian Sir Wil­liam Fox.

The project has been sup­ported by the Bulls Lions Club, Bulls and Dis­tricts Char­i­ta­ble Trust.

Geurt­jens said he thought of the idea when vis­it­ing his brother in a re­mote town in Aus­tralia.

‘‘I went to see my brother in Aus­tralia and went through a town called Cowaramup and they had black and white friesian cows all through the town, which was down by the lo­cal Lions club.

‘‘They said it had in­creased the tourism by 30 per cent, so I thought of an ex­ten­sion of a Bulls theme here. I came home and put the pro­posal for­ward and away we went. It’s an­other way to push the Bulls com­mu­nity.’’

Geurt­jens had re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back, with the stat­ues, which have been up two weeks, prompt­ing ‘‘plenty’’ of tourists and vis­i­tors on the way through to stop and take pho­tos.

‘‘When peo­ple ask ‘where do you come from?’ and you say Bulls, they’ll say ‘that’s where all those bull stat­ues are from’.’’

DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ

Paul Geut­jens with one of the 17 gi­ant bull stat­ues around Bulls.PHOTO:

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