16 November 2021 | Written by Bachcare Holiday Homes

Giant Cow In Morrinsville

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History of “Mable”, the Giant Cow In Morrinsville

giant cow nz

In June of 2017, a 40-year old dream became a reality in Morrinsville, New Zealand. A Mega Cow standing 6.5m named Mable was unveiled to the public. This bovine beauty stands tall over Morrinsville’s main street.

This iconic work of art is a tribute to the dairy community and the mootastic culture that has grown up around it through the decades.


History of the Giant Cow

Mega Cow Mable did not explode into existence on a whim. She was a long-time dream of former Mayor Laurie Maber and his wife, Yvonne. Laurie had a special place in his heart for cows as they had been a massive part of his career.

Along with his role as Mayor, Laurie established Maber Motors Power Farming in 1946. He was also the first person to erect a rotary shed in the area. 

Laurie wanted to build a massive cow statue to pay homage to the rich dairy culture in the Waikato region. 

Unfortunately, his dream would have to wait. The post-war years were difficult for farming communities in New Zealand, so funding such a large project was not an option. As things began to improve in the 90s, hope was rekindled.


Bringing the Giant Cow to Life 

Although Laurie’s business thrived over the years, the real inspiration to create Mable came from the Herd Of Cows? Project. This cow-craze project was designed to celebrate the dairy culture of the area.

With over 40 colorfully made, life-size cows all over town, Laurie’s idea from four decades earlier came back to life. At 93 years old, however, he decided to make it a family affair. He gave the job of overseeing the project to his son and grandson, Geoff and Brett Maber.

In the end, the 40-year dream of a giant cow was realized in 18 months. That didn’t mean there wasn’t trouble along the way. Brett brought in Mat Bailey from Matcraft Industries to help make his “pop’s” dream a reality.


Where Is the Famous Giant Cow Today?

cow in morrinsville

At a cowering 6.5m (just over 21 feet tall), Mable the Giant Cow stands proudly in front of Maber Motors. Affectionately known as “Mama Cow,” this unique structure is the culmination of many years of hard work.

As a result of the Mama Cow and the efforts of the Maber family, tourism has increased dramatically in the Waikato region and Morrinsville. There are now over 42 cows in the Herd of Cows Project, so there is quite a lot to see.

Besides our large friend, some other popular life-size replicas include Ed Moocation from the David Street School and Picowsso sponsored by Anexa Animal Health. 

While each bovine has something special, here are a few more gems:

  • Accowntants- Sponsored by MBS Advisors LTD
  • Colourella- Sponsored by Morrinsville Decor
  • The Globull Cow- Created by Kaye and Tom Williams
  • Mooving- Sponsored by Harcourts Real Estate
  • Udderly Hot- Sponsored by House of Travel Morrinsville
  • Udderly Awesome- Gifted by Terry and Colleen Semmens
  • Rotamoo- From Rotary

Each cowtastic display is a sight to see. Sadly, in April of 2016, Laurie Maber passed away at the age of 94, just before Mable joined the herd. His Son Geoff said, “Wherever he is, he’ll be smiling down on us thinking ‘S**t, that’s pretty bloody good.”


What Is the Mega Cow Made Of?

Before the Mega Cow, Matcraft Industries was responsible for the other 40 cows from the Herd of Cows. Although they were old “cow” hands, creating a 6.5m Mable was no easy feat. 

One surprising thing to note is she is pretty light compared to her size. At a waif-like 3 tons, she is approximately the weight of six average dairy cows. Here are a few other Mable moosurements:

  • She took 300 hours of machine work
  • She needed 100kg of computer numerical control (CNC)
  • The Mega Cow is made of 800m of fiberglass woven cloth
  • As of 2017, the Giant Cow NZ had 980kg of resin

Not only is that a lot of machine-hours, weight, and materials, but if milked, she could produce 1,000 liters of milk per day. Compare that to a typical cow, which, at best, makes between 20 and 40 liters.


What Makes the Giant Cow Story So Unique?

The Waikato region of New Zealand has the largest number of dairy cows in the country. The community and economy had relied on their bovine friends for decades past. From that standpoint, it is only natural to celebrate these gentle giants.

Laurie Maber had a long, successful career within the dairy and farming industry. He also passed his knowledge and love of cows down through his son and grandson, along with many other family members.

You can often hear his son Geoff saying that cows were his father’s life. It is not often that we get to memorialize our passion, though. The Maber’s did just that. Not only did a 40-year come to life, but it has also helped the community.


Q & A

How big do cows get?
Unlike the Giant Cow in NZ, the typical dairy cow weighs about 680kg, with some cow breeds reaching 1360kg. Size varies depending on species, but Mable Mega Cow is about six times the size of an average bovine.
How big is the biggest cow?
The award for the most giant “real” cow goes to a cow named Blossom. At 190 cm, this towering girl is a pet of Patricia Meads-Hanson in Orangeville, IL, in the United States.

Australia is home to another oversized cow. Although Blossom holds the Guinness World Record, Knickers is not far behind. Weighing 1400kg and almost 2 meters tall, he is owned by a cattle farmer named Geoff Pearson.
What part of New Zealand is Morrinsville in?
Morrinsville is part of the Waikato region on the northern island of New Zealand. It is about 32km, or a 25-minute drive, to Matamata

Hobbiton, a fictitious town from the fan-favorite movies “The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy” and “The Hobbit Trilogy” were both filmed in this picturesque town.

Visitors can take pictures with the Mega Cow and then venture east for a guided tour of the movie set.

Conclusion

Thanks to Laurie Maber, his son Geoff, and grandson Brett, the town of Morrinsville has a bigger-than-life tribute to the animals that have sustained a community for more than a century. Mable, the Giant Cow in NZ, is a sight to see.

While you are there, you should also see why she is called “Mama Cow.” She has 42 life-size and colorful children to look for throughout town, as well.

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