Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Telecom Tree to light up Wellington waterfront

Telecom Tree to light up Wellington waterfront this Christmas

Wellingtonians will have a special place to leave their wish for Santa this year with the arrival of a 7-storey high Christmas Tree made from lights on Wellington’s waterfront.

Inspired by Wellingtonian Joe Bleakley, the 26 metre-high Telecom Tree is made up of 37,000 lights, which provide 16 million possible colour combinations. A space underneath, which holds 200 people, provides an enchanting view of the light show.

Telecom’s decision to commission a “travelling” tree, to be based in Frank Kitts Park from December 1, follows the overwhelming success of the first Telecom Tree in Auckland’s Victoria Park, which was visited by more than 80,000 people in the lead-up to Christmas last year.

Telecom Retail CEO Alan Gourdie says the Telecom Tree will add a touch of magic to downtown Wellington.

“Wellington is renowned for embracing events in the City; we are very excited to be introducing the Telecom Tree to the calendar. Our thanks to the Wellington City Council for their support in helping us secure such a wonderful space for the Tree in Frank Kitts Park. It will be a magical destination for families to share a unique Christmas experience.” says Alan Gourdie.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast says: “Christmas is a magical time of the year and this tree will add a new dimension for Wellingtonians and visitors alike.
“I can’t wait to see it towering over Frank Kitts Park. As well as adding spectacle to the season, it will bring home the true meaning of giving at Christmas and encourage us all to help a fantastic cause in Women’s Refuge.

“It will also act as a fantastic navigational landmark for Father Christmas and his reindeer when they are flying over Wellington on Christmas Eve.”

The dedicated Telecom Santa Line phone boxes at the base of the Telecom Tree allow children to ring the North Pole direct, with their voices magically activating the lights running from their phone box to the star at the top of the tree.

Visitors to the Wellington Telecom Tree are invited to bring gifts of toys to leave under the Tree. Womens Refuge will distribute those gifts to children in their homes around New Zealand in time for Christmas morning.

The original Telecom Tree will this year be located at Western Park on Auckland’s Ponsonby Road. Its opening light show will take place on Saturday 28 November, with special light shows each day in December. The Auckland Telecom Tree will also act as a collection point for old mobile phones, which are re-cycled to raise money for Starship hospital.

For those who can’t make it to either of the Telecom Trees, the nationwide Santa Line will still take Christmas wish-lists direct to Santa. Last year there were 999,672 calls made from right across New Zealand. Hopeful children (and adults!) will again be able to call Santa to tell him they’ve been good and what they’re hoping for on 0800 222 222. Or they can submit their request online at

Visit for more information.

Where: At Frank Kitts Park, Wellington CBD.
When: From 1 December to 26 December with lightshows from 6pm till midnight every day, and extra special events on 1 December and Christmas Eve.

Caption: Wellington’s Telecom Tree will be the same as the Telecom Tree which lit up Auckland’s Victoria Park last year


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland