The man who brings presents
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.