New Tracking!

We are very excited to announce the arrival of our brand new Tracking tool. We’re releasing it progressively throughout the day, so everyone should have the pleasure of using it by Friday morning at the latest.

For those counting, this is the 4th major iteration of the Tracking tool.

Tracking is the second most-used service on our website, so needless to say we get a lot of feedback. Some of this feedback relates to courier delivery, which unfortunately we can’t do anything about. Courier vans aren’t made of pixels.

Fortunately, there is plenty of feedback that we can do something about. Here’s the top 3…

“I want to see my parcel’s location”

This is the number one request, by quite a margin. And fair enough, too. We’ve told you that your parcel is in a depot, but which one? Knowing the location reassures you that your precious parcel is making progress, and let’s be honest, it’s just pretty interesting. Or is that just me? 🤓

Either way, you can now see where your parcel is…


…and where it’s been.


In some cases you’ll even get to see the most recent tracking event on a map!



“I want to see an ETA”

Number two on our list of common requests is an estimated time of arrival. This one is a little trickier for us, as we’re somewhat reliant on the operational side of the business sorting this out. But rest assured they’re working on it, and we’ll be updating Tracking as soon as better information becomes available. That said, we’ve made a start.


Some parcels will now show an estimated day of delivery. At the moment, you’ll see this most often with parcels sent on a courier service. The estimate will take into account non-delivery days (like Sundays and public holidays) which should take out some of the guesswork.

And in the interests of helping you understand where your parcel is in its journey, we’ve also developed a progress bar (of sorts).



“I don’t understand the status meaning”

In depot!

What does it all mean?

The truth is, these statuses were originally created for internal use and were never expected to see the light of day. But times have changed, and since they’re out there on the internets, they need to make sense to humans.

We’ve painstakingly edited all 140 statuses (yes, 140!) and tried to make them as user-friendly as possible. We hope it helps.


Anything else?

Those are the top 3 issues we’ve responded to, but there’s heaps more.

Delivery options

We’ve tried to make it more obvious when your parcel is going to require a signature. Sometimes you don’t get a choice in the matter, and it’s useful to know so you can avoid getting that yellow card in your letterbox.


If your parcel requires a signature and you won’t be home to provide one, you now have some options at your fingertips.


General redesign

The Tracking List page (where you track all your parcels) and the Tracking Detail page (where you take a closer look at a particular parcel) have been extensively redesigned and re-jigged. We’ve been through several rounds of user-testing (yes, with real people!) and learned a lot, so hopefully we’re on the right track.


Near enough 50% of users access Tracking from a phone or a tablet now, so as part of the redesign we’ve put a bit more emphasis on the mobile experience.




We’ve made a new Tracking tool. We’re pretty proud of it, and we hope you like it.

We’re constantly tweaking and iterating, so please continue to give us your feedback here or on our social channels.

Happy Tracking! 👋


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Meetings, you-tings and new-things!

Hello lovely Elfish/Santeasers/Jelves (that’s Jandaled Elves)/Santinis, et al.

As alluded to on Twitter – things are becoming very real, very quickly. Thankfully, it’s also still very early. You can read more about our super-organised organisation of NZ Secret Santa here:

We have a few things we want to talk about! First up, my favorite ….

Charity involvement

As you may (or may not!) know, every year that NZ Post have facilitated NZ Secret Santa, we’ve teamed up with a charity to try and spread the happiness beyond the realms of the Twittersphere and into a place with real need.

This year, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be teaming up with @CanTeenNZ who’ll benefit from our (sadly) inevitable Bad Santa gifts but we’ll also be trying a few cool new things with their help. One of these will be, similar to previous years, the option to send an ‘extra’ gift to charity. The idea as it currently stands is that when you sign up for #nzsecretsanta this year, you’ll be given a few more options than usual which will allow you to decide how super of a Secret Santa you wish to be. That’s all I’ll say for now, but more on this later.

We’re also introducing…

A snazzy new design!

With the help of our visual designer, we’re bringing a new coat of paint to NZ Secret Santa and we think you’ll really like it. You can check out a sneak-peak in our Twitter header image:

And, finally, we’d like to remind you:



In case you were unaware, it’s only 111 sleeps until Christmas! Which means it’s even less than that until registrations open for NZ Secret Santa 2016! (Between you, me and the fencepost – we’re pretty sure this is gonna be the most awesome one yet!)


See you on the flippity-flop!

Aj, Libby & The Elves

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Why are you talking about Christmas already!?

So, if you follow @nzsecretsanta on Twitter (you’re awesome!), then you’ve probably noticed that we’ve been a bit more active than usual; especially since it’s August and we’ve been prattling on for a couple of months already.

If you don’t follow @nzsecretsanta on Twitter, you should. We’re awesome.

The reason we’re making so much noise at this very *not* Christmas time of year is mainly because of the amount of times I had to do this last year:

Really, the most upsetting thing (up to and including the abusive messages we receive every year without fail) that happened during the mostly awesome and amazing time in last season’s game.

So, to the point! Get on with it already!

We are putting together a “Bad Santa Gift Stash” (or BSGS for short) to cover the folks who, for one reason or another, don’t get a gift sent in to the storehouse. There could be any number of reasons that a gift doesn’t arrive, but for those people who do their part and don’t “get the goods”, we’re making sure we can make up for that as much as possible.

Now, in previous years we’ve had amazing(!!!) sponsors who’ve donated massive amounts of stuff to NZ Secret Santa who’ve, for the most part, covered everyone in that boat. Last year, we didn’t. And it was stink. And I’m sorry. There’s a list of excuses I put together but you guys don’t care about that. We’re trying it a bit differently this year – aiming to get a heap of businesses to give a little bit, instead of a little bit of businesses to give heaps. We think this will work out better for everyone. Oh, you’re still waiting for me to get to the point, right?

Right. Here it is.

It’s August 15th (3 months (maybe to the day!) out from 2016 registrations opening) and we’re already all over this thing. We’ve got over 60 gifts in the Southern Storehouse (Wellington) already waiting to be sent out to people who receive a Bad Santa as part of this year’s game. I would like to say a special, individual thanks, to each and every one of the businesses and people who’ve come to the party and signed on to give us stuff already. They are:

  • @MyFoodBagNZ
  • @MightyCampers
  • @BritzCampervans
  • @whittakersnz
  • @getbeef
  • @waitomo
  • @kiwiexperience
  • @PenguinRandomNZ
  • @brothersbeernz
  • @Zealandia
  • @FoxyLustyGrover
  • @chowwellington
  • @RainbowsEndNZ
  • @KathmanduGear
  • @LeroyBettAndCo
  • @AucklandZoo
  • @weare80days
  • @AKLFestivalNZ
  • @Portlander_
  • @SweetReleaseWLG
  • @ohyoufox
  • @Phil_Tanner
  • @fullswingnz
  • @Xenojay
  • Pete’s Natural
  • @SkyCityAKL
  • @FullersFerry
  • @cheekypixienz
  • @SparkNZ
  • @nzpost
  • @CatalystNZ

We’re so massively grateful. For the most part, all of these people/organisations are giving away their products for nothing but a “thank you” and some witty banter on-the-line. Go and give them a follow, if you don’t already. These are good people.

Last, but definitely not least; if you work for (or know of) a cool Kiwi business that might be interested in being a part of the coolest, most feel good amazingness on Twitter this year, tell them to get in touch with myself (@nzsecretsanta), our Social Elf (@MrsGreatnews) or our Email Elves (just us, but in another channel – and we can have a chat.

We’re SO freakin’ excited though – I think this is going to be the best year yet!

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NZ Secret Santa 2015 – Survey results, things to ponder and my feels

First of all, thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out our survey – you can check out the results here:

The comments on various sections of the survey have given us a lot to think about, and also some warm fuzzies – you are all amazing!

For us, the gift receiving days are always the most satisfying. Many smiles, a few tears here and there and just such amazing positivity on Twitter (which we all know is often the very opposite).

This year was super busy for me personally, because Rob couldn’t get as involved as he would’ve liked, and Alys (who ran the show the last couple of years at NZ Post) was/is on maternity leave with her little bundle of joy. Although I was flat-tack, I had an amazing time, despite not being able to play the game itself. The joy that overwhelms NZ Twitter feeds during the game is the most amazing thing to facilitate.

We’ve learnt a lot this year and hope to be able to make some big technical and logistical improvements to the game over the next 10 months. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Introducing a Points system (Giving = +1 point, not giving = -1 point and new players start on 0)
  • Changing the delivery process for items coming into the storehouse using regular mail
  • The possibility of adding regulations for minimum tweet count / activity and/or changing the matching engine for protected accounts
  • Having more people on the ground at the storehouse during critical times (i.e. gift sorting and dispatch)

None of these things are DEFINITELY going to happen, but we have a lot of work to do to keep delivering an awesome experience to some of the nicest folks in the Twitterverse.

Keep an eye on Twitter for updates.

Thanks for reading! See you again soon!

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NZ Secret Santa 2015 – Feedback

Every year, we do our best to facilitate an amazing experience for each and every player. Most of the time this works, but there is always plenty of room for improvement.

We’d like to hear what you thought of NZ Secret Santa 2015 (even if you didn’t play) so we’d love it if you could take a few minutes (roughly 5) to complete our survey: [survey closed] Results!

Your comments will remain anonymous but we will share the overall scores. When you complete the survey, you will be given a link to a page with the overall results.

Thanks guys for taking time out to give us your feedback.

Our favourite gifts and reactions

We have far too many favourites to list, but here are a small selection of gifts and reactions that put smiles firmly on our elfy faces:

This is only a very small selection of favourites – you can check out a whole lot more here:

Share your favourites with us below or through Twitter!🙂

Thanks for reading! See you again soon!

The elves at NZ Post
Rob (^R) and Aj (^Aj)

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#nzsecretsanta goes to London

@RachelRayner has played NZSecretSanta for quite some time and, on moving to London, decided to take the idea with her – the following is a guest post from her on why she felt it a good idea.

Why I’m Bringing NZ Secret Santa to London

I’ve played NZSS for years now. It’s outlasted flats, jobs, and relationships as one of the true constants of the holiday season.

I love everything about it. The intrigue of guessing who might have me, picking out a gift for someone who’s no longer a stranger, and in seeing my recipient get excited when they open it.

This year, I’m in London. It’s a very different place than Auckland. Just the sheer crush of people makes you realise how much New Zealand is a small town – not that that’s a bad thing. In fact, there’s nothing lonelier than being alone in a crowd. I was talking colleagues over lunch, and they agreed with me. “The trouble is, no one talks to one another anymore,” said one. “We’ve got to bring that back. We’ve just got to. But I have no idea how.”

Talk about lightbulb moments. “I know how,” I said.

And that’s how London Secret Santa was born.

I have no idea if it’ll work, but there’s only one way to find out.

If you’re in London, play along. If you’re not in London, share it with your friends.

To sign up for London Secret Santa, head on over to and check it out!

Have you signed up for NZ Secret Santa 2015 yet?

If you have, that’s AWESOME – we’re currently sitting at around 1,500 Secret Santas this year. Tremendous effort!

If not, there still time – but do it now so you don’t forget – – go on, do it – quickly now. It’ll just take a minute.

We’re going to match whoever is registered on Wednesday THIS WEEK! (TOMORROW!!! 18 November) but keep registrations open until the 24th as advertised and match up everyone else then.

Questions? Confused? Want to chat?

We’re always happy to help when we can – drop us a line on Twitter (@nzsecretsanta) or via email if you’d prefer it remain private:

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NZSecretSanta registrations are open!

Registrations opened yesterday, so don’t forget to register – don’t delay, it should only take you a few minutes. If you run into any issues while signing up, drop us an email ( or a DM on Twitter and we’ll see you right.

Remember, there will be no extensions to the registration window this year – don’t miss out; register now.

Gifting to former refugee families


Our Community Partner NZ Red Cross are critical to new Kiwis settling into our country.  Former refugees that settle in New Zealand are re-establishing themselves and their families and quite often need basic household goods as a start.

With a greater need to support Refugees than ever, we have a goal to provide all 800 new Kiwi families with a holiday gift to setup their new home.

If you want to send an additional gift to Santa’s Storehouse for former refugees being taken in by New Zealand and supported by the New Zealand Red Cross, we’ll make sure that’s possible. If you don’t want to, that’s cool – no one is going to judge you.

If you choose to send in a gift for the new Kiwi families, please keep the following in mind:

  • They don’t have much (in most cases, anything)
  • The gift should be family focused
  • Everything will be gratefully received
  • The gift for NZ Red Cross should be marked “RED CROSS GIFT” and separate to the gift for your NZ Secret Santa recipient (just to be safe…we don’t want gifts going to the wrong place!)

Ideas for Red Cross gifts include good quality small household items and sporting equipment (e.g. balls, bats, backyard cricket sets etc).

We’ve also set up a new Give a little campaign for our charity contribution this year and you’re most welcome to donate to that here:

Addressing your gifts

When you’ve been matched up with your receiver, you’ll need to send your gifts into Santa’s Storehouse as soon as possible – please make sure you use the following format for addresses:

Sending to your receiver Sending to the New Zealand Red Cross
Santa Storehouse
c/o NZ Post
9 Laurence Stevens Drive
Auckland Airport
Auckland 2022
Santa Storehouse
c/o NZ Post
9 Laurence Stevens Drive
Auckland Airport
Auckland 2022

It’s also REALLY helpful for us when you use a tracked service to get the item to the storehouse – it means we can scan the parcel when it arrives and check it in quickly.🙂 If you use a delivery service other than NZ Post, please enter the tracking number into your dashboard at so we know to expect it.

Questions? Confused? Want to chat?

We’re always happy to help when we can – drop us a line on Twitter (@nzsecretsanta) or via email if you’d prefer it remain private:

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