First it was the great Lewis Road Creamery Whittaker's chocolate milk shortage of 2014; then it was reports that Creepy Santa was being consigned to oblivion. You have to love living in a country where these are the week's two big news stories.
I've never understood the charm of the 18m Christmas icon. Built in 1960, he didn't have the benefit of Weta Workshops and the like, but surely they didn't need to make his eyes quite so far apart? And what was with the winky eye and the beckoning finger?
He looked like the dodgy great uncle in the corner of the room whom nobody goes near after his third whisky. But it appears I'm in the minority in thinking he is past his use-by date. Callers to my talkback show rang in outrage that Heart of the City had decided it could no longer justify the $180,000 to get Santa and his reindeer up on Whitcoulls corner.
It takes about a week to get him up, so to speak, and extensive planning, numerous health and safety procedures, and street closures. Then there's the cost of storage throughout the year and of freshening Santa up.
Stephen Hanford, who bought Santa from Farmers in 1996 for $1 and restored him, emailed me to say how disappointed he was with the city's decision. He implored people not to let Santa go without a fight.
The New Zealand Herald knew a populist topic when it saw one and started a Save Our Santa campaign, hoping for a Christmas miracle.
And lo - there was one. Just hours later, Auckland property development firm Mansons TCLM pledged to store, install and maintain Santa, and SkyCity came up with a $50,000 donation.
And Santa was saved and the people rejoiced - and then went to queue for their chocolate milk.
I love an open fire. There's nothing quite like it - oil heaters and heat pumps lack the romance and the sheer primal satisfaction of a blazing fire.
And, yes, as with every energy produced, there's a by-product and, in this case, that is smoke and PM10 air pollution -- the fine particles in smoke that lodge in the lungs and are harmful to human health.
This week, Auckland Council announced it was drawing up bylaws to ban open fireplaces and old wood burners, effective from 2018. The ban would affect up to 85,000 homes and means you would have to remove open fireplaces or offending woodburners before you could sell your home.
The council estimated that up to 110 adults die prematurely every year because of indoor fires. Sobering numbers, if true. But I think the council is talking utter rot.
According to the Ministry for the Environment, domestic fires are the most dominant source of PM10 air pollution for most urban areas in the country - with the exception of Auckland.
In this city, motor vehicles account for more than 50 per cent of PM10 emissions. It could be as high as 80 per cent.
Auckland is barely cold enough for a fire in winter - how the heck do researchers know that people who die prematurely through PM10 emissions got the particles from fire smoke and not a vehicle?
And what is dying prematurely? Don't we just die when our number's up?
It all smacks of making people spend more on electricity - and we all know how reliable the power supply to this city is.
Keep the fireplaces. If the Ministry for the Environment is conceding they're not the problem in Auckland, the council should come clean with the real reason for wanting them gone.
The whole thing looks mighty suspicious, and where there's smoke, there's fire.
• Kerre McIvor is on Newstalk ZB, Monday-Thursday, 8pm to midnight.