Hamper brings much-needed Christmas joy

23:35, Dec 23 2012
CHRISTMAS CHEER: Hurricanes rugby players Ardie (left) and Julian Savea hand out Christmas presents to Brendon Te Pania, 8, and his sister Sheree Royal as part of the Wellington City Mission's Special Christmas Hamper deliveries.

It's been a rough year for Pania Royal and her children but a Christmas hamper delivered to their Berhampore home this morning brought a smile to Brendon Te Pania’s face.

As it does each year, Wellington City Mission delivered boxes of presents and food to needy families.

This year, about 100 of the hampers were delivered, some with the help of Hurricanes players
Ardie and Julian Savea.

‘‘I’m just happy to see a smile on his face,’’ Ms Royal said as her son Brendon, 8, inspected the hamper.

‘‘It’s been a rough year for both the kids.’’

2012 had seen them have Child, Youth, and Family involved and they had to find a new home within a week. She did not want to discuss the reasons.


Wellington City Mission chief executive Michelle Branney said the purpose of the day was ‘‘so they can get a Christmas like the rest of us’’.

All those receiving hampers used the Mission for services like budgeting advice.

On top of the 100 parcels delivered today the Mission had already distributed 5000 gifts and toys this year.

Food parcels had increased from 300 in a normal month to 1600 this month, she said.

All items had been donated.

For the Savea brothers, the Berhampore delivery was in ways a return home – they grew up in Berhampore before moving to Strathmore and went to Newtown School, which is where Brendon now goes.

‘‘It’s been a long year so I thought it would be a good opportunity to give something back to the community,’’ Julian Savea said.

The Dominion Post