Auckland's 'creepy' Santa gets the sack

Auckland's Santa, which has proudly towered above Queen Street for almost 60 years, is being retired after this year's festive season. 

First installed in 1960 on the Farmers building on Hobson street the 19-metre statue has polarised Aucklanders.

In 2011 he was named as the world's most unintentionally creepy Christmas decoration by 

An attempt to retire him in 2014 was met with backlash by the public and a number of companies banded together to keep him going.  

A statement from Heart of the City, who owns the statue, said it was costing too much to maintain the weary Santa and it was time to retire him. 

"We know Santa is well-loved by many Aucklanders," said Viv Beck, CEO of Heart of the City. "But sadly, for a combination of reasons it is time to retire this model."                    

"We love Santa too so it wasn’t an easy decision. However this is not the end of Christmas in the city centre. 

"We’re already underway in thinking about how Christmas could be celebrated here in the future, and in the new year we will involve the city centre community in exploring what Christmas 2020 and beyond could look like."

Santa will go up for the final time on November 10 and will be taken down on January 10.

"We want to provide Aucklanders with the opportunity to say goodbye to Santa. Christmas is a time for joy and celebration and we’re sure many of us have fond memories of him," Beck said. 

Memories and photos can be uploaded to, emailed to or shared on Instagram and Facebook using #FarewellSanta.

They'll then be published to a dedicated page on