Thursday, September 17, 2009

Something for nothing (and the zoo for free)

Guess what? You can get something for nothing – at least in New Zealand.
The other day, I entered a competition run by the New Zealand Herald. It was for one of those fashion/hair/beauty makeovers, because apparently, I need it.
(Conversation with Husband the other day:
Him: You’re not wearing that are you?
Me: Why? Is it daggy?
Him: You’re always daggy …(and no, I haven't divorced him – yet!)
Anyway, of course I didn’t win. But the newspaper emailed me to say they were giving everyone who entered the competition a chance to have the paper home-delivered for free for four weeks. No catches, no need to cancel at the end of it. Just free. Try it and see if you like it. No questions asked.
Well, what do you think I did? I’m loving getting a paper home-delivered again. It’s not quite the same reading papers online, and plus, you can’t leave old copies lying around to irritate your husband. Where’s the fun in that?
But Kiwis are often offered things for free over here, and I'm still getting used to it.
For example, for the whole month of August, Auckland residents could visit the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) for free. Not restricted to one entry per address, mind, it was free entry for the entire family.
Their PR company told me it’s because August is traditionally a slow month – being wetter and colder, and they just like to give locals the chance to experience it. But still – to me, that’s just awesome.
And when Kashin, a much-loved elephant at Auckland Zoo, died recently, the zoo’s response was to open the gates for one day, so that residents could pay their respects and visit her burial site for free. In a world where so many companies are focussed on profit margins and budgets, I think it’s wonderful that organisations like this can put that aside for the greater good.
It’s not just the big corporate citizens that are generous either.
The other day, I passed a coffee shop on Ponsonby Road which was giving away their empty, divine-smelling coffee bags (gold coin donation suggested). They would probably end up being sold at markets back home.
At our lovely school – where about 23 different nationalities are on the roll – parents from other countries who are struggling with English, are given free language lessons each week. Again, how gracious that staff give their time and the board provides a venue so that parents can settle into their lives here so much easier?
And at Oratia Farmer’s market, which I blogged about recently, as well as generous tastings and samples, one guy was giving away perfectly good organic apples.
Even at our local New World supermarket deli, the friendly ladies always give the kids a free cheerio each. Just like Mum’s local butcher did when I was a kid! And I scored a free reusable shopping bag when the store recently celebrated a birthday.
Finally on September 25, ZORB Roturua is giving away Zorb rides to celebrate their 14th birthday. All day. For nix.
I feel so blessed to be enjoying life in such a warm, generous country.
Anyone else know of some great freebies - either in New Zealand or further afield?


amber said...

Excellent, I love a good freebie. You are so lucky. We just had springfield fashion $ on again where you went to the bank & bought vouchers for fashion stores at 25% off. Thats a beauty as you have a 25% saving even before you get the instore sale items.

MrsDesperate said...

Oooh, that sounds great, especially as you can use it for discounted items. Love that.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ye there aren't many freebies to be had here. In fact if someone rang me an offered me a free paper elivery for 4 weeks I'd probably hang up thinking it was a prankcall lol

Sarah said...


We've just participated in our youngest daughter's Kindi Fair and so many local supermarkets gave the Kindi free produce to help with the sausage sizzle etc. A local burger take-away came along and sold hundreds of gourmet burgers, giving the proceeds to the Kindi. And so many local businesses contributed to the raffle and silent auction. It was really heartwarming.