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New Zealand National Film Unit presents New Zealand Flax (1950)

This film takes a look at the harvesting and milling of New Zealand flax – New Zealand’s oldest industry.

New Zealand flax is one of the country’s most distinctive native plants. It has sword-shaped leaves 1–3 metres long that grow in a fan shape.  In spring, birds — particularly tūī — flock to feed on the nectar of its tube-like flowers, which bloom on stems up to 4.5 metres long. By carrying pollen from plant to plant, the birds help flax to produce seeds in long pods.

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