Auckland’s Santa runs out of money

Auckland’s giant Santa may have seemed like a dirty old man with his slowly winking eye and creepy beckoning finger, but the five-tonne, 18-metre festive figure had been part of Auckland’s seasonal celebrations since 1960.

The giant icon has this year fallen victim to austerity measures after the $180,000 price tag of installing and storing it were deemed too high.

Heart of the City (HotCity) have been partly funding the famous Whitcoulls decoration for the past five years with help from sponsors.

But in a letter to HotCity members, the board said it wasn’t in a position to do so any more.