Auckland’s giant Santa will not be appearing on the corner of the Whitcoulls building on Queen Street this year.
The price tag of $180,000 for installation is too hefty for the shoulders of Heart of the City, the organisation responsible for installing Santa every year.
In December 2008, Whitcoulls announced it could no longer absorb Santa’s costs, then $55,000, and gifted him to the city.
Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney said: “Is Santa an iconic institution, or a sad, dodgy old man”? Because of his beckoning finger and slowly-winking eye.
Prime Minister John Key also told More FM: “Not installing Santa is a national outrage”.
In a recent development, SkyCity has stepped in and said they would be happy to help with the installation of Santa, to the tune of a $50,000 donation.