Some voluntary festive cheer
Christmas may be more than four months away but the call has gone out for volunteers to help out at this year's Auckland Santa Parade.
Event organisers are on the lookout for boys and girls, aged between nine and 11, to become pirates and fairies for the day.
And if you are a little bit older, don't worry, there are places for older children and adults who want to dress up for the parade as well.
Volunteers will walk the length of the parade alongside a variety of floats and performance groups when it takes over the central city on November 25.
Every year thousands of volunteers help make the parade happen, and not just those in costumes.
Behind-the-scenes helpers, over the age of 18, are needed to work as marshals, banner carriers and costume minders on the day.
Parade organiser Pam Glaser says the parade needs volunteers who are eager to share in the joy of the season.
"We're looking for enthusiastic Aucklanders who can help put smiles on the faces of the thousands of spectators who come along on the day."
Earlier this year it was revealed the iconic Queen St Santa Claus and other Christmas-related events were at risk of disappearing because of a lack of funding.
Heart of the City, Auckland's central city business association, looks after the larger-than-life Whitcoulls building decoration which costs $150,000 a year to maintain and operate.
It is also responsible for hosting Christmas events which total almost $1 million each year - not including the Queen St Santa parade.
But, Heart of the City marketing executive Natalie Donzé said the association could not continue to pay the lion's share of looking after the Santa Claus and the events. Last year the association contributed $505,000 and it could not afford to do so again. More than 50 per cent of the programme is currently funded by them - in contrast to cities like Melbourne where the council completely funds city centre Christmas programmes through rates.
The association have approached Auckland Council and The Edge to split the costs of keeping Christmas in the city.
To become a volunteer in the Farmers Santa Parade visit www.santaparade.co.nz.
- © Fairfax NZ News