They might not have pointy ears or ride in a sleigh but Santa's red and yellow elves have been busy dashing through Northland roads delivering thousands of parcels each day.
It's a busy time of year for New Zealand Post. The Northland team delivered 36,000 parcels during the November sales days - which is more than they delivered during the parcel surge when the country moved to alert level 3.
In recent days the Whangārei team have been delivering anywhere from 8500 to 16,000 parcels each day which is about a 27 per cent increase on usual numbers.
"They're the little red and yellow elves," Darlene Wyles, service delivery manager, said.
"It's really noticeable the amount of online shopping that's being done," she said.
Wyles said customer numbers had grown in unexpected areas, with more "tech savvy nannies" and "cyber koros" shopping online.
"People are getting more and more comfortable with shopping online," she said.
Wyles said the Whangārei fleet comprised 15 couriers, 11 posties and 11 rural drivers.
She said her team were "hard workers" who were doing "a really great job".
"We understand we deliver what people care about, so we care enough to deliver like that," she said.
"It's an awesome and rewarding job. When you see a nanny get something from their moko, or whānau who get something from other whānau - those are the connections we make."
Wyles believed the number of people shopping online had increased since New Zealand went into Covid-19 lockdown.
"Our rural drivers - their freight has almost doubled because they're the only network. They're the only people that some people see up their dusty road. That's how important our network is to them."
Wyles wanted to remind people the New Zealand Post team was doing their best to get parcels delivered before Christmas.
"Just as an example, last year we had a girl at the gate in tears because her dad's parcel was still in the depot but we had closed and they were on a rural run so they didn't get their freight. We will jump in and have a look if people are sure and we can track it."