300kg of ham, a half tonne of spud and kumara and 380 litres of ice cream will be served to Aucklanders alone, struggling and homeless on Christmas Day.

Today, Auckland City Mission staff and volunteers, estimated at 500 people, are in overdrive at Spark Arena preparing for the biggest Christmas lunch in the country following months of meticulous planning.

It may feel crowded in your house as you rub shoulders with cousins, aunties and uncles but for the City Mission entertaining 2000 guests at the Viaduct Events Centre was a different playing field.

For most people, the lunch was the only celebration they had in an otherwise stressful and difficult holiday season, City Missioner Chris Farrelly said.


"The guests at our Christmas lunch join us for all sorts of reasons.

"They may have suffered trauma or sadness, be homeless or living in poverty and unable to afford to have their Christmas meal at home."

Whatever their circumstances, the Mission welcomed them on Christmas Day to share a meal and company.

"Of course all this is made possible thanks to the generosity to the team at SPARK arena – it is another example of the extreme generosity we get to see so regularly at the Mission."

A tonne of potatoes need preparing for the Mission Christmas Day lunch. Photo / Jason Oxenham
A tonne of potatoes need preparing for the Mission Christmas Day lunch. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Farrelly said he was grateful to the Auckland community for their generosity this Christmas.

"Your help makes Christmas possible for thousands of families, particularly children, who live in desperate poverty. Your donations make a significant difference to people who are struggling."

It wasn't too late to donate toward the Mission's work and could be done so here.

Doors open to the viaduct centre at 11.30am and Christmas lunch will be served at 12.30pm, with Santa arriving around 1.30pm, and every guest will receive a gift before going home.


Main course

• Chicken drumsticks (2000pc)

• Ham (300kg)

• Gourmet potatoes (300kg)

• Roast kumara (240kg)


• Ice-cream (380 litres)

• Fruit (100 litres)

• Jelly (150 litres)

• Christmas cake (2500 slices)


• Tablecloths (200)

• Balloons (600)

• Gifts (2500)


• Lollies (2000 bags)

• Chocolate (2500 bars)

• Drinks (4500 bottles)