Rerewhakaaitu streets were a festive sight this season as residents put their best creative mailbox ideas forward.

Christmas-decorated mailboxes were all part of a fun competition within the community.

Organiser Lynda Bullock said this was the third year the competition had been held and, as in the previous years, Dobby (Ian Dobson) the local rural mailman was the judge.

"We set a date for judging and completion, and he brings his family out in the evening to help him with the judging as many of the mailboxes have lights, so look equally impressive at night."

The winning mailbox at night. Photo / Supplied
The winning mailbox at night. Photo / Supplied

Once Dobson has judged, he and his family come out again and join a bunch of friends and families for a Mail Trail ride along one of Rerewhakaaitu's quieter roads, she said.

This year the ride included ponies, horses, a unicycle, cycles, e-bikes, balance bikes, push chairs, walkers and dogs - all appropriately Christmas themed with a range of elf costumes, Santa hats, reindeer antlers and flashing lights.

"There are often treats in the mailboxes for the children and refreshments for the adults."

Bullock said the judging seemed more difficult every year.

She said several mailboxes this year were decorated inside and outside, although the designs were well thought out so the mailman still had easy access for the mail.

"We have decorated gateways, whole driveways and even one of our bus shelters sported Christmas decorations.

"Many families of the community get involved in the mailbox decorations.

"It's a way to make the bus trips to school more exciting at this time of year and for the community to become involved together in the spirit of Christmas."


The winning mailbox was created by Rachelle Smith and her daughters, aged 5 and 15.

Smith said it took two evenings between thunderstorms to create it.

"We didn't do it for the competition, we did it for fun and adding to the community spirit of Christmas.

"Plus, our sad looking letterbox was due for a paint job. When I told my 5-year-old we won she couldn't believe it."

She said the mailbox decorating was a great idea because it brought the Christmas spirit to the community, and that the walk/bike ride was also a great chance to connect with people who you may not normally connect with.

Smith said they also won two years ago with their mailbox as a gingerbread house.