The man who brings presents

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

It’s been a hec­tic few months for Welling­ton’s own Santa Claus.

Three years ago Pera Bar­rett or­gan­ised A Shoe­box Christ­mas for one Porirua school - an idea by which gifts that can fit into a shoe­box are do­nated to chil­dren who oth­er­wise might miss out at Christ­mas.

Now, Bar­rett has fin­ished de­liv­er­ing presents to 3600 chil­dren across the re­gion.

As the Christ­mas and New Year’s rush ended, we caught up with the man chil­dren call Pera Claus.

How do you re­lax?

Time with my daugh­ter, wife, or my whanau. If that’s not an op­tion - a kayak some­where with a view of arms-reach paua, mak­ing mu­sic, read­ing a book, or writ­ing.

Where can we find you in the week­ends?

At home in Tawa, or at (real) home in Otaki. Hope­fully on Kapiti Is­land over the sum­mer.

If you could in­vite three peo­ple to dinner - liv­ing or dead- who would they be?

I’d give up my seat at the ta­ble to my dad, and then the three I’d in­vite would be mum, and my two big, lit­tle sis­ters that passed away be­fore their time.

Favourite place in Welling­ton?

I’m go­ing within the Greater Welling­ton Re­gion bound­aries and lock­ing in Otaki as my fi­nal an­swer, thanks Ed­die.

Why do you feel so strongly about help­ing peo­ple?

When it comes to th­ese kids in par­tic­u­lar it’s pretty sim­ple - I think some­one should. Th­ese are the kids that will grow into the cre­ators, shapers, lead­ers and cu­ra­tors of our fu­ture.

There’s a whole lot of peo­ple in the world, so it doesn’t take much from each of us to make a dif­fer­ence. But some­one needs to fa­cil­i­tate that, and to cre­ate the ve­hi­cle. I can do that, so I should. In terms of help­ing peo­ple over­all, that’s just how so­ci­ety is meant to work.

Have you al­ways felt like that?

No, but I was given a sec­ond chance at life af­ter a car ac­ci­dent a few years back so I prob­a­bly feel more ur­gency about mak­ing the most of that op­por­tu­nity and play­ing my part now.

What scares you?

Two things. Firstly, not do­ing the op­por­tu­nity of life jus­tice. Se­condly, spend­ing too much time fo­cus­ing on do­ing my life jus­tice at the ex­pense of time with the peo­ple clos­est to me.

Other than that, the nor­mal stuff - my wifi cut­ting out mid-way through the last episode of West­World.

Risk­ing one more trip into the city on the mo­tor­bike with­out top­ping up the petrol.

Have you made a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion? If so, what is it?

My morn­ing rou­tine of look­ing af­ter my­self went out the win­dow for the last quar­ter of the year, so I’m go­ing to get back into that.

An hour to­tal of med­i­tat­ing, work­ing out, and writ­ing in the morn­ing be­fore work. Then wean­ing my­self back off the caf­feine over­load I’ve had to com­pen­sate with af­ter los­ing that start of day en­ergy boost.

What was your high­light of 2016?

Help­ing the Shoe­box Christ­mas team and project de­liver 3600 presents to kids across 18 low decile schools and preschools, and four Women’s Refuge cen­tres in Welling­ton - with­out hav­ing a heart-at­tack, and as a newly mar­ried dude to a very cool wife.

Yeah that was kind of a trick an­swer huh.


Pera Bar­rett de­liv­ered gifts to low decile schools as part of A Shoe­box Christ­mas.

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