Maurice Mehlhopt, Trustee

Maurice MehlhoptMaurice Mehlhopt is not sure when he became a butterfly devotee because as a child in Timaru his main job in the summer was to whack all the white butterflies that invaded the family garden. His father would pay him! He was a butterfly bounty hunter!

So maybe by way of conscience about three years ago he popped his first swan plant in his Ponsonby garden and that one plant has now become 20! He says there is a constant swirl of butterflies all around – and in! the house. He says it looks more like something out of Disneyland.

Having spent all his working life in the strongly logical hard edge of the business world, how a slug shuffles on a green coat and emerges as a butterfly would defy the world’s best magicians!

The most surprising reaction has come from the two plants he grew on his berm last year. He was continually amazed at the number of people who stopped to watch the butterflies and the caterpillars, children in particular taking great care to put any caterpillars that had fallen off back onto a leaf!
He said it has been the highlight of his summer.