Puns no bull
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’.’’
Paul Geutjens with one of the 17 giant bull statues around Bulls.PHOTO: