A huge Advent calendar will light up Wynyard Quarter next month, and organisers hope it will become a regular part of the festive season.
Each day a giant lever will open individual doors to the 12m-high calendar at Silo Park to reveal a Kiwi Christmas scene. Local businesses, artists such as Dick Frizzell and school children are contributing to the project.
The calendar will sit beside the base for the Auckland City Mission Christmas campaign. The organisation will pull the last lever on December 25 and plans to host children at the park for fun activities before the annual dinner for 2500.
Waterfront Auckland is co-ordinating the project.
Chairman Bob Harvey said the calendar would be part of a Christmas trail that moves up through a lit-up Beaumont St, crosses over to the Telecom Christmas Tree in Victoria Park and winds its way up the decorated homes of Franklin Rd.
"It's a gift from Auckland to Aucklanders and I encourage everyone to come down to see what will be a magnificent artistic creation and to pause and reflect on what Christmas means to them and how they can give back to the less fortunate."
Oliver Driver, one of the project's creative directors, said he hoped it would become an institution for the city in the same way as the giant Santa on the Whitcoulls building in Queen St.
"As New Zealanders we've been bombarded by the Hollywood image of Christmas which is snow and carols but that's not who we are and what we do. All of the images are going to be of beaches and jandals and all of these lovely things we think of when we think of Christmas."
PricewaterhouseCoopers had commissioned Frizzell to make its contribution. The painting, which cheekily references roadside sales of pines, will be enlarged to fit the 3m by 3m space.
It will be auctioned, with proceeds going to the City Mission.
The artist hoped it might sell for more than $4500 but PWC chief executive officer Bruce Hassall reckoned that was selling the piece far too short.
"We'll be twisting arms for more than that."