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Christchurch to get a direct line to Santa

Christchurch to get a direct line to Santa

Telecom has teamed up with the Christchurch City Council, City Mission and Christchurch Cathedral to bring some festive cheer to the city centre with plans to unveil dedicated Santaline phone boxes at a public ceremony on the evening of Thursday 9 December.

The two Telecom Santaline phone boxes, located at the base of the Christchurch City Mission Christmas tree in the Square, will provide a direct line to the North Pole, so children (and adults!) can ensure their wish lists are received in time for Christmas.

This year Telecom will also add some extra special sparkle to the Square’s traditional Christmas tree by donating a bunch of new lights.

“Over the past few weeks, we’ve been working closely with the Council to organise something special for the people of Christchurch this Christmas, and helping with the Council’s goal of attracting people back in to the CBD, says Telecom’s Paul Deavoll.

Telecom has commissioned international lighting designer David Eversfield to work with local designers to develop a special programme of lights to ensure a spectacular opening ceremony and light shows throughout the month of December.

Mr Eversfield, who designed the lighting for the Auckland and Wellington-based Telecom Trees, also designed the lights for the New Zealand Opera’s production, The Marriage of Figaro, which won Urbis Magazine’s best design of 2010 award.

“This year there will be more lights; a better ability to control them; and we’ll be able to run fantastic colour patterns over the whole tree. It’s going to look really special,” says Mr Eversfield.

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Locals and visitors to the Christchurch tree and Santaline phone boxes are encouraged to bring gifts for families who will go without this Christmas. There will be a collection point for donated gifts in the Cathedral, and these will later be distributed to Canterbury families in need by the Christchurch City Mission.

For those who can’t make it to Cathedral Square, the nationwide toll free Santaline will still deliver Christmas wish-lists direct to Santa.

More than 180,000 calls have already been made nationwide. Hopeful children can call Santa to tell him they’ve been good and what they’re wishing for on 0800 222 222. Or they can submit their request online at www.santaline.co.nz.

As part of the tree lighting ceremony, Telecom will also present the money raised by its staff for the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Fund, totalling over $20,000. Telecom has over 1,100 staff based in the Canterbury region.

What: Christchurch Christmas tree lighting ceremony

When: Thursday 9 December from 8pm

Where: Cathedral Square, Christchurch City

Caption: Oscar Buckley, aged 9, leaves his wish list on Telecom’s Santaline at the Telecom Tree in Wellington (this is the same phone box that will appear in Cathedral Square)


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