Flags to fly again over engineering company
A kind gesture will see flags flying outside a New Plymouth engineering company again.
The five flagpoles outside ITL Engineering have stood bare for almost two weeks after an unidentified offender stole the international flags they had flying, leaving staff fuming.
But after seeing the story on Stuff.co.nz, Ross Fanthorpe, a partner at Govett Quilliam law firm, decided he would replace the stolen items.
Fanthorpe said it was part of an office initiative to be more connected with the multicultural Taranaki community. A woman from his office, who spoke fluent spanish, also knew some of the spanish-speaking staff at ITL which furthered their resolve to help out.
Fanthorpe said this tied in well with the recent discussions around making immigrants and foreign workers feel more welcome in the region.
"If I was a foreigner here and that happened, I'd be pretty miffed."
Self-professed Colombian patriot and ITL employee Juan Gutierrez said he was thrilled to have the his home nation's flag back.
"With it being a national symbol, when you're far away from home you connect to all those symbols that represent your country."
"It's a really, really nice gesture."
Govett Quilliam employee Lisa Wansbrough said she and her colleagues were horrified to see the flags had been taken.
"Especially at the moment when we're really working on attracting migrants to Taranaki."
Wansbrough said the theft was not representative of how people in the region acted towards multiculturalism and was pleased to be part of an action to return the flags.
ITL administrator Andrea Connor said they were still working out the nuts and bolts of how to prevent flag thefts in the future, but it had been suggested that they use a padlock to secure the ties once the flags have been hoisted again.