Visit to Play School clock a time warp for MP

BY DEBBIE JAMIESON
Last updated 05:00 13/08/2009

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Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean is as divided as Southland Times readers over the future of the Play School clock.

The clock was discovered in the Invercargill Library archives two weeks ago almost 20 years since it last appeared on New Zealand television screens.

The MP was a presenter on the show and called into the library for an "emotional" reunion with her former colleague yesterday.

Now that it had been rediscovered, she thought it should probably stay in Invercargill but visit Play School icons Big Ted, Jemima, Humpty and Manu in Te Papa for an exhibition.

Little Ted is believed to have lost his head in an explosion on the last day of filming.

"I think (the clock) has been well looked after by the people of Invercargill and it's found a good home here it's just as tatty as it always was," Mrs Dean said.

"It's now become something so iconic that maybe there is a case for it to join the toys in Te Papa if only for a little while ... but ... maybe its long-term home should be here."

Her thoughts reflect those of almost 300 Southland Times online readers who have voted marginally in favour of retaining the clock in Invercargill. The proposition has 52 per cent support, with 48 per cent believing it should go to Te Papa.

Mrs Dean was also spending time with Alliance Group executives in Invercargill as part of a NZ Business and Parliament trust study programme.

She had no responsibilities in the agricultural sector but said the programme would increase her understanding of an industry that was vital to the Waitaki area she represented.

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