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We all celebrate Christmas in different ways with different traditions, and with our whānau living all over Aotearoa, and outside of the country – we wanted to share some kōrero on how our owners celebrate and spend the day.

We’ve asked three NRAIT owners how they are celebrating Christmas this year.

Matua Jansen

We will be having an Orphans Christmas in Coogee, Sydney.

Quite a few of my friends have no family in Sydney so often we put on a BBQ on the beach and invite around whoever does not have family. We like to BBQ NZ flounder and mussels to feel like home, then enjoy playing cards and drinking some NZ white wine. We do not have a Christmas tree or do presents, and instead keep it focussed on food and making connections with new and old acquaintances.

Matua and Te Kahu Jansen.
Sydney, Australia.


Emma Park

To us, Christmas is a time to connect with loved ones and gather as a whānau from near and far, eat lots of soul food, and have a really good catch up and reminisce and laugh.

For us, we go to Mums for Christmas Day lunch, this has been a family tradition for as long as I can remember. Mum cooks the most amazing lunch, with many types of food, some have a few drinks and some of us find a nice olive tree to have a snooze under in the afternoon. Then on Boxing Day we repeat the eating and drinking and maybe another snooze, with the other side of the family.

However, this year is extra special because it will be our son Milo’s very first Christmas and the start of his traditions. We have some very excited siblings, grandparents, aunties and uncles and of course parents to share Christmas with Milo.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with lots of whānau and kai, and have a safe New Year. 

Park family
Taranaki, New Zealand


Jeremy Banks

Christmas for us this year will be a bit different in that there will be less people travelling, as most of us are now all in Nelson!

The day will inevitably start with the excitement of Hana Kōkō (Santa) for our girls and after the whānau have all arrived in the same place we play a Secret Santa present stealing game.

Good food and wine is the focus of the day with Christmas lunch, which will be followed by plenty of games and some pool or beach time.

Banks family
Nelson, New Zealand


It’s great to see how our whānau connect with their friends and family over the holiday period, enjoying the kai and the sunshine. We are glad that we can connect with our owners, even those who live outside of Aotearoa like Matua.

From all of us here at NRAIT, we would like to wish you a happy and safe holiday. We hope you enjoy spending time with your whānau and friends.