Sunday , December 5 2021

Santa ‘Creepy’: A huge festive figure comes out of Auckland to the Wanaka museum home


Auckland giant Santa and two reindeer – who towered over Queen St at Christmas for about 60 years – have found a new home on the South Island.

The 18-foot festive image and its reindeer have been prepared for a new life at the Wanaka National Museum of Transportation and Toys.

In November, it was revealed that Christmas 2019 would be the last for the “horrible” Santa, as he won his unofficial name for the flashing eye and finger gesture of the previous version.

Mr. Claus ’maintenance and assembly cost more than $ 200,000 a year as Heart of the City, an association with the CBD company, decided it was“ the right time ”to take a“ well-earned rest ”.

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“We know that many Santa Aucklanders love Santa, but unfortunately, for a combination of reasons, it’s time to retire this model,” then-CEO Viv Beck said.

The giant Santa was the Christmas base for Queen St of Auckland for about 60 years, before retiring in 2019.

David White / Things

The giant Santa was the Christmas base for Queen St of Auckland for about 60 years, before retiring in 2019.

She returned to the warehouse after being moved from Queen St’s home in January.

A convoy of trucks is transporting Santa and his two reindeer to Wellington, where they catch the ferry to Picton and head back to the museum.

Beck said the Heart of the City was “happy” that he was retiring to the right new place where he would live his legacy.

Giant Santa

Ricky Wilson / Things

The giant Santa was called “horrible” because he winked and winked.

“We said last year that we were hoping to find a suitable home for him. We are very happy that it can be safely retired and we hope that the kiwis will still be enjoyed for many generations to come. ”

The museum has said it will give the giant Santa TLC this Christmas, so it won’t make its debut in the south until Christmas 2021.

The city’s Santa Santa first appeared on the outskirts of Farmers in 1960, at Hobson St and Wyndham St. in the corner, which was raised annually until 1990, when the building was sold.

From 1991 to 1995 he moved to a farm in Manukau, but in 1996 his poor appearance underwent many of his changes.

It cost about $ 40,000 to find a new home on Whitcoulls before it was sold to the Queen Santa Santa company in 2003, then donated to Heart of City in 2008.

In 2009, the nice picture made a second change for more than $ 100,000.

The modification saw him make his famous blinking eye and wink with his finger, and the reindeer and gifts joined him.

One of Santa’s giant reindeer climbed for the last time in January 2020.

Ricky Wilson / Things

One of Santa’s giant reindeer was last climbed in January 2020.

However, in 2011 it was named one of the world’s most coveted Christmas decorations on

In 2014, the City of Heart decided on a $ 180,000 bill to restore the bearded man who was too old.

But after a public backlash, the Heart of the City, Mansons TCLM and SkyCity construction companies worked together to keep the statue in place.

Journalist Hayden Donnell, who campaigned in 2018 for the bearded man to nod and nod again, said he was “pretty devastated” that Santa wouldn’t be back by 2020 for Christmas.

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