Twelve days of Kiwiana Christmas – budget style

How to beat inflation while stuffing your stocking

Time to read: 6 mins

These 12 Days of Kiwiana Christmas, it’s time to get budget-conscious. The annual Baker Tilly Staples Rodway review of our Kiwi Christmas list shows how much the cost of living is going up, with prices for our weekly shop increasing 3.7 per cent in the year ended October 2021. And inflation is at its highest in more than a decade.

That doesn’t mean this Christmas has to be a downer. The clever elves at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway have shopped around to bring the Christmas kete in at $2,067.57, down from $2,803.83 last year.

But don’t forget to factor in extra time and money for shipping this year. In fact, if you’re ordering this close to Christmas, you might want to consider a voucher. Or maybe support your local restaurant with a nice meal out.


On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me¦

A pukeko in a ponga tree

The kids have had a tough year, what with serious disruption to schooling, months without sports, or in the case of Auckland children, months without seeing their friends. Why break the bank on a real game bird for your loved ones when you can give them a cute, cheerful buddy to snuggle up to at night?
Nothing could be more Kiwi than Luke the Pook, a little guy in Red Bands who loves getting his big feet dirty. You can even read about his adventures - and we’re assured he’s all up to date with his bird flu shots.

Cost - $17.95 (down $51.54)

Two kumara

In November, Statistics New Zealand revealed the welcome news that food prices had fallen for the first time since February - mainly because the price of fruit and veg has been so out of whack.
That makes our Kiwi favourite kumara taste all the sweeter this Christmas, falling to less than half the cost of last year. At these prices, consider buying some extra to gift some to the local foodbank or City Mission, with Auckland City Mission handing out 48,000 food parcels in the past financial year. Share the love this Christmas.

Cost - $3.49 per kg (down $5.50)

Three flax kits

Shop closures and lack of tourists have hit many New Zealand craftspeople hard, so consider getting your loved ones some authentic local products and support our homegrown artists. Consider a durable and sustainably made kete - and they come in a range of designs too, so invest in one for yourself.

Cost - $239 each, $717 for three (up $597)

Four huhu grubs 

With (some) festivals now back on the cards, seize your chance to celebrate the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival in March. Prices have gone up a little since earlier this year, but grubs (and grub of all kinds) will be laid on for an unforgettable culinary experience.  Best book your campsite soon as demand is sure to be high.

Cost - $95.38 package including:
$59.38 adult tickets (up $10.26)
$36 for two nights’ camping (down $4)

Five big fat pigs

With butchers no longer locked down, the animal welfare issue threatened by the oversupply of pigs has thankfully been averted. However, porkers on TradeMe are close to the same price as last year. So we’ve continued our 2020 tradition with a budget-friendly vegan roast for planet-conscious guests.

Cost - $899.98 including vegan option (down $36.01)
$220 per pig (down $8), OR
$19.98 for a vegan garlic and sage-stuffed Celebration Roast (down $4.01)

Six poi a-twirling

As more and more Kiwis get vaccinated, the stage is set for an amazing year of kapa haka in 2022. Get your twirl on with three pairs of poi. A little bit dearer than last year, but still a remarkably affordable gift for your true love and family.

Cost - $6.19 per pair ($18.57 for six poi) (up $2.43)

Update: We are advised the poi have been placed on backorder, with an estimated arrival of January 23, 2022. The advisors at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway recommend investing the $18.57 instead - with interest rates on the rise, you can probably get your true love some Allbirds next year.

Seven eels a-swimming

Let’s face it, with everyone ordering online and postal services run ragged, it’s a gamble whether you’ll get your Christmas cards delivered on time. Imagine the logistical nightmares (not to mention the eyewatering courier fees) a massive tank of live seafood would create.
The smart gift-giver will bring round some ready-smoked eel fillets for the barbie. Delicious with an aromatic Riesling or Gew¼rztraminer - but get in quick for a well-priced drop, because labour shortages and adverse weather this season mean wine supplies may dry up in the New Year.

Cost - $17.25 per filleted eel ($120.75 for seven eels) (up $2.10)

Eight plants of puha

Many Kiwis discovered their green fingers this year as we went back into lockdown. Mitre 10’s top-selling item for 2021 was potting mix. So a packet of puha seeds is a very welcome and affordable addition to any gift list for your true love, providing a bit of outdoor therapy as well as Vitamin C.

Cost - $4.45 for 200 seeds (no change)

Nine sacks of pipi

Beach trips have got the green light just in time for summer. Pick your favourite shellfish destination and treat yourself and your true love to some fresh kaimoana. However, no one needs nine sacks of pipi. It’s not only unsustainable (and illegal), it’s also a stomach ache in waiting.
With experiences touted as the best waste-free gift this year, pair your beach trip with a nice boat cruise or pamper session at the local spa. Your true love will appreciate it - and so will the spa operator.

Cost - FREE (except for the spa)

Ten juicy fish heads

With the weighted average monthly price for 1kg of fresh fish rising 32.7 per cent in the last decade, and mortgage interest rates rising faster than at any time in the past 15 years, it might be time to swap those snapper fillets or whole crayfish for some less conventional (but equally tasty) cuts.

Around 14,000 Kiwis are already fans of on Facebook. Great for curry with a difference.

Cost - FREE

Eleven haka lessons

The incredible Whaitiri Poutawa started posting Kapa Haka 4 Kids sessions online via the Ministry of Education during the first lockdown last year. He now has a YouTube channel full of lessons on kapa haka for little ones, from the haka itself to poi, waiata, te reo Māori and more. Give it a go with your kids. It’s free and it’s fun - and it might inspire you and your true love to explore more advanced cultural education. The haka is just one aspect of tikanga Māori, after all.

Cost - FREE (down $1,311)

Twelve piu piu swinging

Many regular cultural performances remain suspended due to the lack of tourists (except for group bookings), but there are still opportunities to see poi and piu piu in action. Ko Tāne in Christchurch is the place to go.

Cost - $190 for two adults (up $60)

DISCLAIMER No liability is assumed by Baker Tilly Staples Rodway for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon any article within this website. It is recommended that you consult your advisor before acting on this information.

Sign up to our newsletter

Thanks for signing up!

Our website uses cookies to help understand and improve your experience. Please let us know if that’s okay by you.

Cookies help us understand how you use our website, so we can serve up the right information here and in our other marketing.