There were tears of joy as Christmas came early for some of Rotorua's families who need it most.

Today the Rotorua Daily Post tagged along with Rotorua police area commander Anaru Pewhairangi as some of the first hampers, full of toys, food and toiletries, were delivered.

The first stop was the home of Local Hero Award winner for 2017 Manu Solomon.

As Pewhairangi arrived at the home he put his police hat to one side and grabbed the first box load of goodies from the car.

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Executive officer Wendy Wrigley followed along with a second box.

"At first I didn't know why there were police in the street," Solomon said.

"This is just awesome, I feel like I just want to take Christmas as a quiet time for myself and I hope this can make it a bit easier."

Mr and Mrs Wong with Ngaraka (left) and Sapphyrrah, 15-months-old were pleased with their Christmas hamper. Photo/Ben Fraser
Mr and Mrs Wong with Ngaraka (left) and Sapphyrrah, 15-months-old were pleased with their Christmas hamper. Photo/Ben Fraser

For Pewhairangi the first house was particularly humbling, as Solomon was working in the Te Papaiouru Marae kitchen for his welcome pohiri earlier this year.

"It feels so good to give back to people like this, it warms the soul."

He said he would be encouraging all of his staff to take the time to go on a delivery.

Down the road we stopped at the home of Mr and Mrs Wong, who had just pulled into the driveway as we arrived.

Mrs Wong said life had been difficult, but they were getting through.

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Both living on their pensions they were working hard to raise their 15-month-old daughters Sapphyrrah and Ngaraka who they whangai adopted."We have been lucky," she said.

"I really wasn't expecting this, oh my goodness, there are even nappies."

Area Commander Anaru Pewhairangi delivers a Christmas Appeal hamper to Manu Solomon and her grandson Lorenza Solomon with the help of executive officer Wendy Wrigley. Photo/Ben Fraser
Area Commander Anaru Pewhairangi delivers a Christmas Appeal hamper to Manu Solomon and her grandson Lorenza Solomon with the help of executive officer Wendy Wrigley. Photo/Ben Fraser

As we came down the driveway at the final house the Horo family came out to greet us, and as Miss Horo saw the boxes she burst into tears.

"That will just make a mean difference to my cupboards," she said.

Miss Horo has her own 1-year-old daughter and recently whangai adopted her 14-year-old brother.

"This means that I can feed my brother and my partner and my baby.

"We weren't going to have Christmas this year, it was just going to be like any other day. Now I can see a Christmas kai and my girl actually having presents.

"I can give her something I just didn't think I would be able to."

She said a massive Merry Christmas to all those who donated to the Christmas Appeal and thanked them for the huge difference it would make.