Supporters pledge to save Christmas

SAVE CHRISTMAS: Councillor Jamie Gough
SAVE CHRISTMAS: Councillor Jamie Gough

Efforts to save Christmas in Christchurch are well under way thanks to a $5000 donation and a steady stream of pledges.

City councillor Jamie Gough set up an online fundraising page after the council voted to cut the $55,000 budget needed to put up the city's decorations.

Scenic Circle Hotels yesterday donated $5000 to the fund and challenged other businesses to "meet or beat" their donation.

Spokeswoman Virna Smith said that the company felt the decorations were important for Christchurch.

"This is something we want to get behind. Christmas will go ahead in Christchurch," she said.

Gough said the news of the bumper donation had "made his day". He had been canvassing local businesses for support, and the feedback had been positive.

"If there's a way to pretend we're a half- normal city for a month or two, well that's nice."

Feedback from the public has been mixed, with some saying the fund would be better spent on needy families.

"There's always going to be things people are saying are better causes. You've got to draw a line in the sand somewhere," Gough said.

"Christmas is a special time of year. Kids love it, and I have to admit I quite enjoy it too."

To donate, visit

The Press