Meridian encourages New Zealand businesses to get jogging for a good cause

Meridian encourages New Zealand businesses to get jogging for a good cause

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It is officially 12 weeks until Christmas, and that means it is also time to get your team together for the Great KidsCan Santa Run’.

On Wednesday, 7 December 2016 thousands of people dressed in Santa suits will take to the streets in Whangarei, Warkworth, Auckland North (Albany), Auckland West (Te Atatu), Auckland Central (Queens Wharf), Auckland South (Manukau), Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Whanganui, New Plymouth*, Palmerston North*, Wellington, Blenheim, Christchurch, Wanaka, Dunedin, Invercargill for the Great KidsCan Santa Run’.

Meridian Energy GM of Markets and Production, Guy Waipara, is calling on New Zealand businesses to get their running shoes ready and support this great cause. Meridian Energy is the principal partner of KidsCan.

"The Great KidsCan Santa Run is a major fundraiser for KidsCan and something that all New Zealand businesses should get behind. I will be running in the Wellington event, and I’m challenging other New Zealand businesses to take part."

"Being only 2km it will be a fun run or walk that most people can take part in. Every dollar raised goes directly to helping KidsCan continue their great work supporting Kiwi kids".

People of all ages, dressed in full Santa regalia, will take part in the 2­3km fun run/walk which will benefit New Zealand children living in poverty. Last year’s event attracted over 4,000 participants and we’re hoping to increase the number of Santas to over 5,000 this year.

The Santa Run concept is a simple fun run/walk with each entrant receiving a free Santa suit (13 years plus) and a Santa hat for those under 13 years. The courses are kept easy so everyone can finish and the running Santas being highly visible for maximum impact.

Shaun Collins from Lactic Turkey Events said "This is a great family event for people of all ages and levels of fitness. I am stoked to see the event grow into some more new venues throughout the country this year, adding Blenheim and Warkworth making it a truly national event. The beauty of this event is it’s all about the fun of donning a Santa suit, which is included in your entry fee and raising money for a great charity!"

The KidsCan Charitable Trust is encouraging businesses, individuals, families and groups of friends to get behind the event. Participants can run it, walk it, skip it, hop it finish it however they like. Julie Chapman, KidsCan CEO and Co­founder says, "The Santa Run is a fun and festive event for people of all ages across New Zealand to get involved in. We are lucky enough to have been part of the run for seven years now and the funds raised make a significant difference to the work we do for Kiwi kids going without the basics."

Early bird entries are available until Sunday, 16 October, with the opportunity to save 20% of the fee ­ $22 adults, $16 students/seniors and $8 kids ­ as well as going into the draw to win a prize. To enter as an individual or team go to

*The New Plymouth event will be on Saturday 10 December and Palmerston North event will be on Thursday the 8 December.

The Great KidsCan Santa Run, 7 December 2016 at 6.30pm

For further information, other images or interviews please contact:

Sophie Mowday: 022 135 7598

Shaun Collins: 021 508 980

About KidsCan:

The KidsCan Charitable Trust was co­founded in 2005 in a garage in Greenhithe, Auckland by Julie Chapman. An evaluation which was conducted in 80 low decile schools, after hearing continuous media reports about New Zealand children going without the basics. We wanted to find out just how widespread the problem was and how it was affecting children’s ability to participate in class.

The evaluation revealed that thousands of children were turning up to school cold, wet and hungry because their parents were struggling to make ends meet. Schools reported that this was having a major impact on children’s learning ability, selfesteem and health. Children who miss out on the basics get sick more often, do worse at school and when they become adults they are more likely to be unemployed and have children who will also grow up in hardship.

With all of this in mind we decided to do something about it and KidsCan was started with a generous $40,000 grant from Guardian Trust, now trading as Perpetual Guardian. Today KidsCan supports the education of thousands of children in 568 low decile schools throughout New Zealand, providing food, shoes, socks, fleece lined Vodafone Warriors branded raincoats and basic hygiene items. Our tangible programmes ensure disadvantaged children can get to and through the school’s gates in a better position to learn.

For more information please visit

About Santa Run:

Started in 2008 by Lactic Turkey Events, the Santa Run has grown from an Auckland only event to an event across 18 regions nationwide. This is a great family event and is suitable for people of all ages and levels of fitness.

Santa Suits are provided to all entrants over 13 years old and Santa hats to those under 13 years, but there have been awesome outfits and dressing up in previous years. Lots of elves, Rudolph’s and other characters make the run and are rewarded with a spot prizes for the best dressed at each venue.

For more details and to enter online go to