Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the NZME. News Service office in Wellington.

NZ Post takes over Secret Santa Twitter account

Pauline Stockhausen was brought to tears after receiving her Secret Santa gift. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Pauline Stockhausen was brought to tears after receiving her Secret Santa gift. Photo / Herald on Sunday

The increasingly popular NZ Secret Santa Twitter account has been taken over by New Zealand Post, after it became too much for its Hamilton creator.

The feel-good activity links Twitter users to each other so they can send anonymous Christmas presents.

Sam Elton-Walter created the account three years ago and each year more and more people have joined - with 870 signing up last year.

He said some lovely moments came from administering the account.

"I had a couple of people say a big thank you to me because for whatever reason ... they said 'this is the only gift I got at Christmas time and you made my Christmas'."

However, a few months ago Mr Elton-Walter tweeted that the task was getting overwhelming as the popularity of the account grew, and he asked whether anyone wanted to take over the job.

"As wonderful as it is, it was taking up too much of my time."

He received four replies; three from individuals and one from NZ Post.

NZ Post was chosen because a team of "really neat'' people would work on it, and it seemed logical to do it alongside their letters to Santa, he said.

NZ Post spokeswoman Jaimee Burke said taking over Secret Santa was a good fit with their brand.

She was not sure how many people expect to join up this year.

"It's always been really popular so we'll be planning for a fair few people signing up."

Ms Burke said they would try to keep the format the same as the original version. But they might create "parcel pods" so presents can be sent to an anonymous address rather than having to give out private addresses.

The team would also keep an eye out for grinches who sign up to receive a gift but don't send one.

"But it does really rely on a feeling of goodwill of both taking part."


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