Elves ask City children for help in shock move

The tamariki of Waihōpai are being asked to help as Santa’s elves have become the latest to feel the pinch of global supply chain issues.

City children and their whānau are being asked to help decorate the Invercargill Civic Christmas Trees using natural, found waterproof materials and to be in to win a family fun day prize pack. 

Invercargill City Council Manager Parks and Recreation Caroline Rain said she had been contacted by the elves only twice before, once when there was an emergency reindeer feed situation in the Christmas of 2016 and once last year when Santa dropped off a present for Petra the Ostrich after reading about her in North & South magazine.

“It’s very unusual for them to ask for help so we really want to step up and do our best,” she said.

“The elves have said that many of the Civic tree decorations had been broken or damaged and replacement decorations were being held up in transit.”

Elves have a lot of sway with the global postal service but chose to focus on necessary equipment for crucial toy business, she said.

Children have been asked to help by creating decorations to be hung on the Civic trees in Windsor, Bluff and South City, using environmentally-friendly materials. The large Civic tree usually in Wachner Place would this year stand proud at the Feldwick Gates, she said.

“The elves have suggested children to explore their backyards, the beach and the city’s parks to find natural materials to turn into decorations, such as pinecone angels with leaves for wings or stars made from twigs and pressed flowers,” Rain said.

Natural and waterproof materials are encouraged to protect the decorations from Southland’s wild weather as well as any peckish reindeer. 

“It’s a good opportunity to teach children all the ways we can protect the environment but also for families to get out and visit the trees throughout the city to find their children’s own special design.” 

Manager Strategic Asset Planning Russell Pearson said the decorations would help bring cheer to the city especially as the decorative lights could not strung across the main streets because of the City Streets and Invercargill Central construction.

 “We know people will be disappointed we don’t have our usual decorations, we certainly are too, but I’m looking forward to seeing the creativity that comes out of this competition,” he said.  

“And I have never been asked for a favour by an elf so I hope that by helping out I will be permanently on the good list.”

Decorations can be dropped, along with an entry form, to the Invercargill Library, Splash Palace, the Civic Administration Building, He Waka Tuia, Bluff Service Centre or The Pantry before December 16.  

There will be prizes of a family adventure day for best individual decoration and best school, kindergarten or early childhood centre could win a behind-the scenes tour at Queens Park.

The decorations will be placed on the trees and winners will be announced on December 20.

To learn more visit icc.govt.nz/xmasdecorationcomp