Countdown on for #nzsecretsanta 2014

6 November 2014

Registrations for the award winning NZ Secret Santa game open next Thursday 13 November and the digital team at New Zealand Post is expecting more players than ever.

NZ Secret Santa, known as #nzsecretsanta on Twitter, is an online version of the well known Christmas game where people give an anonymous gift and get one in return.

“We have really upped the stakes this year, with plans to give surplus gifts, as well as a cash donation, to charity,” says New Zealand Post Secret Santa Coordinator Rob Holmes.

The game, led by the community and coordinated by New Zealand Post, is growing in popularity. Last year, NZ Secret Santa donated around 100 surplus gifts to the Wellington City Mission. This year, as well as giving gifts, the Christchurch City Mission will receive a New Zealand Post sponsored cash donation based on the number of people who sign up.

“If 5000 people sign up, New Zealand Post will give a $5,000 donation to the Christchurch City Mission. If 10,000 people sign up, we will give a $10,000 donation.

“Registration is only one week long this year; so we’re relying on the Secret Santa community to spread the word and increase the donation,” Rob Holmes says.

Holmes says the game is about encouraging generosity and goodwill at Christmas time making the donation to charity a good fit. The way the game works is that everyone sends a gift and receives one in return. However, there are always a few people who sign up, and for whatever reason don’t end up sending a gift. The New Zealand Post team dubbed these people ‘Bad Santas’ and decided to send the gifts intended for them, to charity.

City Missioner Michael Gorman says the Christchurch City Mission is delighted to be chosen as NZ Secret Santa’s charity of choice.

“The gifts will make this year’s Christmas Day lunch really special. It’s likely the cash donation will be put towards providing breakfast for women and children who come in to the women’s centre or to supplement Christmas food parcels with a festive treat,” Gorman says.

The NZ Secret Santa team is excited to be working with the Christchurch City Mission and looks forward to handing over the donation in December.

Go to NZ Secret Santa to register between 13 November – 19 November.

About NZ Secret Santa

NZ Secret Santa is led by the community and facilitated by New Zealand Post.


  • The Twitter version of the gift exchange called #nzsecretsanta was started by tweeter WebSam (Sam Elton-Walter) from Hamilton in 2010, specifically for the New Zealand Twitter community.
  • Sam wanted to give the ever-expanding Twitter community some Christmas cheer. After running the gift exchange for a couple of years it became too popular for Sam to manage alone so he passed the torch to New Zealand Post.

How does it work?

  • Twitter users around New Zealand send gifts to people they know only through social media.
  • Based on a players online presence, each Secret Santa will work out a perfect gift (for around $10) to send their lucky recipient. Participants use the hashtag #nzsecretsanta on Twitter to tweet about Secret Santa and to share photos of the gift they’ve received.
  • New Zealand Post has the facilities to receive, store, and then redistribute gifts without players having to disclose their personal addresses to a stranger.

How to play:

  • Follow @nzsecretsanta.
  • Register to play by linking your Twitter account to a New Zealand Post online account. It's easy-peasy, just follow the instructions.
  • Get your Twitter-Sleuth on to work out what your recipient likes and then get creative; find/make/buy them an awesome gift for about $10.
  • Send your gift as soon as – our elves will be waiting!
  • Wait excitedly for your gift to arrive.
  • Tweet a photo of the gift you receive and use #nzsecretsanta and share the joy.

Key dates 2014:

13 Nov Registrations open.
19 Nov Registrations close.
21 Nov Find out who you are Secret Santa for.
10 Dec Send gift by this date.
19 Dec Your gift is on its way!

For more information visit our NZ Secret Santa website.