Pillar gets into spirit of season

Clive Saleman gives a streetlight a chocolate.
Clive Saleman gives a streetlight a chocolate.

Cheeky elves have transformed Oakura's favourite lamp-post into a Christmas cracker.

With just hours until the jolly fat man's arrival, the pole made famous by a Meridian Energy mailing mishap is now wrapped in tinsel.

Clive Saleman, who lives next door to the Shearer Dr pole, said it was a gift that just kept on giving.

"It's a bit of a hoot," he said.

In August, the lamp-post hit the headlines when the energy company sent a letter threatening to cut power to the occupier of 771800 Streetlights NPDC Control Point 394, 9 Shearer Drive, Oakura 4650 unless he or she provided customer details.

Although New Zealand's largest single electricity generator eventually conceded no one lived there, a message emblazoned on it now suggests otherwise.

The sign wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and thanks to those who supported "my battle with the forces of darkness".

Mr Saleman said he was pleased the "upstanding pillar" of their community, who or whatever it might be, had bounced back from the scandal.

"He was buoyed by all the support he got from the neighbourhood and all around the world.

"We have got his back."

But the note writer was less than generous about a humorous video the company made soon after the original story broke.

The video features company spokesman Jeremy Wells talking to a lamp post while pleasantly indulging in a box of Ferrero Rocher.

"He's still waiting for his chocolate," Mr Saleman said.

Taranaki Daily News