The Auckland City Mission starts giving out Christmas presents and food parcels from today - at sites around the region, rather than its usual venue in the central city.

From Eden Park, to marae in South Auckland, the wider community is getting behind the mission like never before this festive season, the organisation says, but it is still appealing for help "to ensure all children get the Christmas they deserve".

The mission is operating temporarily in Union St in the CBD while construction work gets under way for its new facility at its Hobson St site.

Auckland City Missioner Chris Farrelly said that had forced some changes to this year's operation.


"From today we begin distributing our emergency Christmas food parcels and presents – but instead of doing that from Hobson St, thanks to enormous community support we are operating out of Eden Park and the Ngā Whare Waatea Marae in Mangere.

"We are thankful our clients will no longer have to queue from midnight outside our Hobson St building just to ensure a little Christmas cheer for their families."

The giving begins at Eden Park and Ngā Whare Waatea today, and at Papakura Marae on Wednesday.

A food parcel.
A food parcel.

Eden Park chief executive Nick Sautner said the stadium was thrilled to be able to play a part in bringing some cheer to families in need.

"The park has sown a rich history for itself over the past 115 years and throughout that, community has remained at its centre. We are committed to utilising the park for more than just rugby and cricket and to have the opportunity to support a worthy cause like the City Mission this festive season is fitting."

The Ngā Whare Waatea Marae, of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority (MUMA), in Mangere and Papakura Marae are also working closely with the mission to distribute food parcels, presents and Work and Income support.

"MUMA has a longstanding partnership with the City Mission and it is only fitting that we open up Nga Whare Waatea Marae for this purpose," said authority chief executive Wyn Osborne.

"Our goal is and always has been to serve whānau in South Auckland. This is at the core of everything we do. As kaitiaki, or guardian, of our community it's a privilege to be part of this collective effort to share a little extra Christmas spirit with whānau."


Papakura Marae chief executive Tony Kake adds, "We are absolutely committed to serving our local community in this way. If our support can bring a cheer to a family or a smile to a child face over this festive season - awesome!"

Farrelly said that over the years people had had to travel at great cost from South Auckland to get the mission's assistance; now, because of the generosity of two marae, the mission could go to the people.

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