The Pauatahanui School Santa strikes again
Ollie Robinson went one better this year.
The Whitby 11-year-old collected more than 200 presents for the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal in 2012. This time around, he challenged his fellow pupils at Pauatahanui School to get in on the act, gathering toys, books and games for those less fortunate.
When the Porirua Fire Service and Kmart’s Greg Moller came to collect the presents last week, there was barely enough room in the fire truck to take all the gifts — more than 400 of them.
Mana MP Kris Faafoi called Ollie ‘‘ an inspiration’’ and principal Arthur Von Sturmer said it had been a ‘‘tremendous’’ fortnight as the classes raced to outdo each other.
The winners were the pupils in room 2, who brought in 102 presents by the deadline. They won dining vouchers from the Co-Op in Whitby.
Ollie said he wasn’t expecting so many presents. The philosophy behind his efforts was a simple one, he said.
‘‘New Zealand is a generous country and we need to stay like that. It shouldn’t be every man for himself.
‘‘We have to teach generosity through the kids.’’
Mr Moller said the generosity of spirit from Porirua residents at this time of year made his job as Kmart’s Wishing Tree organiser an enjoyable one.