DINNER PLATE: Central Kids Putauaki Kindergarten teacher Reweti Elliott measures the winning sunflower head.

CENTRAL Kids Putauaki Kindergarten in Kawerau has become the second Kindergarten in the Eastern Bay to win an award for its sunflowers this summer.

In December the children at Central Kids Kindergarten Apanui in Whakatane won the prize for the widest sunflower head in the Daltons Sunflower Project Competition. The Kawerau Kindergarten has now won the same category in the competition’s Late Bloomers awards.

The Late Bloomers Awards run from December 16 to February 10 in recognition of those kindergartens whose sunflowers may have been affected by the weather or weren’t in bloom in December when the main Sunflower Project winners were announced.

Daltons general manager Colin Parker says; “We know the weather doesn’t always play the game. The Late Bloomers Awards offer kindergartens who struggled, another chance to win and show off the sunflowers they have spent so much time and dedication growing.”

Putauaki was one of three kindergartens to be declared winners in the Late Bloomers Competition, part of the Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project.

The tallest sunflower award went to Waimea Kindergarten, near Nelson for its 3.2 metre tall flower, and Putauaki tied with with KiNZ Mission Heights in Flatbush, Auckland for the widest flower head award.

Both grew sunflower heads that were 36 centmetre wide – that’s bigger than a large dinner plate.

Central Kids Putauaki Kindergarten teacher, Reweti Elliott, says; “Our whanau is so happy to have won first equal place. The children have worked extremely hard over the last few months and we have all played a part in caring for our sunflowers, including our parents and grandparents.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this project and our whanau would like to thank Daltons and everyone involved in such an awesome project for the tamariki.”

The winning kindergartens will receive a Daltons prize pack, which includes a voucher for products they can use in their gardens; plus, a framed photo of their stunning sunflowers.