Hotline to Santa busy as usual

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013

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Taranaki children have been asking the jolly fat man to gear them up with gadgets.

Smartphones, iPads and iPods are among the top items on Taranaki kids' Christmas wishlists this year, according to the recorded messages left on the Santaline.

More than 3000 phonecalls have been made to the line this year and kids are asking Santa for lots of things that are not made in his North Pole workshop.

Along with the phones, tablets and music devices, classic Kiwi favourites - like the bike and Lego blocks - are also very much in demand.

Last year more than 10,000 Taranaki calls were made to the Santa and Telecom expects the the line to get even busier in the countdown to Christmas.

Jason Paris, Telecom chief operating officer, said kids' Christmas wishlists have vastly changed over the two decades the direct line has been running.

"When you think back to 20 years ago, no one had even thought of the smartphone - VCRs and Walkmans were the face of technology then.

"But I think most kids these days wouldn't even know what those are," he said.

However, Mr Paris acknowledges that even though the face of Christmas gifts continues to change there will always be a place for classic Kiwi gifts under the Christmas tree.

Telecom had seen a steady change in the way kids connect with Santa, with a growing number of kids emailing this year instead of calling - something that has been a consistent change over last few years.

"We've had assurance from Santa that he will be checking his emails regularly in the lead up to Christmas," Mr Paris said. Phone Santa free from any landline, phonebox, or Telecom mobile on 0800 22 22 22 up until December 25, or you can email him on santa.claus@telecom.co.nz.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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