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Thames' traditional Christmas lights replaced by pohutukawa flags
Pohutukawa-themed flags have replaced Thames' main street's dated lighting system, providing a festive lift for the longer summer daylight hours.
The previous lights used the old filament bulbs, which were costly to maintain and increasingly difficult to source in such large numbers. Every bulb on every light strip had to be replaced every year.
Though some residents may miss the night lighting, the Thames Community Board felt that the lights were only useful during the shorter summer night time hours, whereas the flags are more visually appealing during the longer daylight and busiest shopping hours.
In May this year, the Community Board also agreed to purchase a Mainstreet Flag Track system that would eliminate costly flag installation costs and make it easier for community groups to promote their local events visually in Thames' main street.
The first set of flags are now visible in the middle part of Pollen Street and by next year the entire 'mile long' main street will be completely decked out with festive flags.