'I'm bloody angry': Patrick Gower urges NZ to 'stop the fight' over Nelson's Māori Santa

  • 03/12/2018

Patrick Gower is a man of strong opinions, as well as a lover of all things Christmas - so it's only natural he had something to say about the Santa controversy that's gripping the nation.

The organisers of the Nelson Christmas Parade have apologised for including a 'Māori Santa' instead of the traditional white bearded Father Christmas.

Everyone from Duncan Garner to Don Brash has voiced their opinion on the festive matter - and Gower is sick of it.

"I'm actually bloody angry," he told his fellow hosts on Monday evening's episode of Three's The Project.

"I'm bloody angry at New Zealand for fighting over Santa and I want us to stop. This is not what Santa's about. Santa is not about angst and Santa is not about Santa hate.

"Santa is about hope, Santa is about dreams. Santa can come down the chimney even when you don't have a chimney. Santa can come in the ranch slider, Santa can drink craft beer. Santa can drink strawberry-flavoured Lindauer for all I care."

He wouldn't comment when his fellow hosts asked him if Santa can be a woman or wear a korowai.

"I don't want to enter any debate about Santa, because that's extending the fight about Santa," he said.

"We need to stop talking about Santa. We need to stop fighting about Santa and we need to start dreaming about Santa."

But Jeremy Corbett disagrees.

"I think it's a wonderful thing. It tells you all about New Zealand that our big debate at the moment is about Santa," he replied.

"Isn't that a great thing? I was at a barbeque over the weekend and no one wanted to talk about politics, no one wanted to talk about anything else. You mention Santa, everyone's got an opinion."

But Gower was unwavering in his disapproval of the national debate.

"My opinion is that at the end of it, Santa is about love and happiness."

The Christmas-lover also admitted to tearing up before the show while he was watching the speech from the end of the movie Scrooged, a 1988 remake of A Christmas Carol starring Bill Murray.