Rare flax collection saved from Hamilton housing development

A rare flax collection planted on land earmarked for a mega housing development in Hamilton is set to be saved.

The cuttings will be replanted for weavers across the Waikato to access.

Weaving is Penney Cameron's favourite pastime and the flax she uses is extra special.

"It dries like spun gold," she says.

It's part of a national collection of heritage flax that she grows on her property on the outskirts of Hamilton.

"They were initially given to me to plant and care for and share with other weavers," she says.

But with Hamilton's population growing the land in the suburb of Peacocke is destined for development.

"I was devastated to think at first that it might have ended up under a bulldozer," she tells Newshub.

The Peacocke project will eventually be home for up to 20,000 Hamiltonians. Thanks to the Council the flax collection will have a new home there too.

"All weavers from across the Waikato will have access to this magnificant flax resource for their weaving," Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate says.

A paa karakeke or 'flax garden' will be created using cuttings from Cameron's collection near the new Waikato River bridge that will start being built later this year.

"As we get new housing areas so we improve the environmental values and social and cultural values of that area," Southgate adds.

Cameron says she's "rapt" with how this has turned out. Now her task is to get the cuttings ready to replant.

"It's quite a lot of hard work. Some of the flaxes are not quite so keen to give up part of themselves," she tells Newshub.

Hard work that one day will all pay off.