13 Apr 2015

Australia saves NZ from poppy shortage

5:18 am on 13 April 2015

The ANZAC spirit is going strong one hundred years on, with Australia sending an urgent shipment of poppies to New Zealand to combat a shortfall.

Anzac poppies.

Photo: 123rf

Christchurch's RSA won the contract to make the poppies last year and had been making them since June, but RSA chief executive David Moger said its machine had not produced the one million that had been ordered.

He said they contacted the Australian Returned and Services League and Victoria's RSA had agreed to send 200,000 of its poppies, which were now on their way to New Zealand.

However, Mr Moger said the Australian poppies were different from those made in New Zealand, with a more flower like look and a metal stem, while the New Zealand poppies were flat with just two petals.

He said RSAs around New Zealand were also redistributing poppies where they could and there should now be enough to meet demand.

The Christchurch RSA will have to foot the bill for the Australian shipment, but Mr Moger said it was only being charged cost price.

The RSA's contract to make the poppies came after a shift to an overseas supplier four years ago. Prior to that, they were made by the IHC.