Today's letter: Dear Santa ...
Welcome, Santa. I am the Government bureaucrat who discussed your entry into our shores last year.
I have received your truckload of consents, which has kept our taxpayer-funded staff busy for many months. Thank you. Unfortunately, staff have identified new issues which will result in additional work for you and to enable them to keep busy.
As you will be landing on each house roof, you will need to have scaffolding erected.
This will ensure that when you alight from the sleigh, there is no danger of you falling. It's not happened in hundreds of years you say? Yes, but it could and if you don't put the scaffolding up there will be instant fines from our inspectors.
You will need to contact all local councils to ensure that the fairy dust used to keep you moving does not exceed the air particles standard. They reduce the level frequently to keep themselves busy and to collect more fees.
Last year I understand that no presents were delivered to bad children.
These children have now formed a protest group, hired a number of expensive lawyers using legal aid and taken the matter to the Human Rights Commission as they consider that they have been discriminated against.
You should be warned that the lumps of coal you left behind will be used as evidence.
Environmentalists are also not happy about the amount of coal left behind and Greenpeace protesters intend chaining themselves to your sleigh. (But you did not hear this from me.)
Finally, I regret to advise that you will not be permitted to leave New Zealand. The Maori Council have taken legal action as they consider that you belong to them as you were delivering presents prior to 1840 when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.
What? You don't have any of these issues with other countries? Where are you going? Why have you left this coal here?
The Southland Times