Cystic Fibrosis Christmas Tree festival kicks off at Wellington Airport

27 Nov 2023

A forest of 56 Christmas trees has sprouted in the Wellington Airport terminal to help families living with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Generous businesses, community groups, and individuals have sponsored a tree as part of the annual Cystic Fibrosis Christmas Tree Festival.

CF is the most common life-threatening genetic condition affecting Kiwis, with more than 570 people living with CF in New Zealand.

Life with CF can be especially tough on families at Christmas, with some juggling extra treatment and unplanned hospital stays. They endure a life-long and demanding daily regime of lung clearance and medication, together with regular medical check-ups, hospitalisations, and in some cases, lung transplantation.

Funds raised by the Christmas Tree Festival will help Cystic Fibrosis NZ (CFNZ) continue to provide practical, emotional, and physical support to the CF community, when, where and how they need it through:

  • Our team of Social Workers that visit and support families in their homes and medical settings.
  • Wrap-around support for parents with a newborn baby.
  • Keeping families together during hospitalisations by providing support with parking, meals, and travel.
  • Helping with essential expenses to alleviate financial pressure like groceries, additional prescriptions, and power bills.
  • Empowering people with CF to manage their condition through the Breath4CF physical exercise grants to support lung health.
  • Providing mental health support through counselling to help with resilience and emotional wellbeing.
  • Delivering extra comfort and care when it’s needed to families going through transplants and to those who need support with end of life.

Lisa Burns, Chief Executive at Cystic Fibrosis NZ says: “The landscape of CF care in New Zealand is changing, and it has become increasingly clear that although medicines are an important tool and, in some cases, can be life-changing they are not a cure, and they won’t work for everyone.

“This means that the need the services and programmes that CFNZ and our branches provide to our local communities is so important, and this is particularly difficult at Christmas. Funds raised by this festival will enable us to continue deliver on these needs.”

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Wellington Airport, along with our returning and new sponsors, for their unwavering support. Your collective commitment not only makes this festival possible but also speaks volumes about the crucial support for our community.”

Jo Maxwell, Manager Brand and Sponsorship at Wellington Airport says: “This is an important cause we’re proud to support and it’s very popular with travellers. The terminal looks fantastic thanks to our generous sponsors and volunteers.”

Wellington Airport is once again providing a $10,000 advertising package for the first placed tree as judged by a local artist. The public can also vote for the ‘People’s Choice’ category with the winner receiving a $5,000 advertising package.

Every vote cast goes in the draw to win a $500 shopping spree, and kids can win a $250 prize pack by designing their own tree.

Previous festivals have raised around $30,000 to support the work of Cystic Fibrosis NZ. A full list of sponsors is below.

Media Contact: Phil Rennie 021 869 106

Notes to editors

For more information on the festival visit

About Cystic Fibrosis NZ

Cystic Fibrosis NZ (CFNZ) was established in 1968 by a group of parents responding to an unmet need when their babies were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Today, we are the only national organisation supporting the more than 570 people with CF and their families in New Zealand. Since our first initiative 55 years ago, we continue to proudly support our CF community by providing information, advice, and financial assistance to aid with quality of life and wellbeing.

CFNZ relies on the generosity of New Zealanders to meet the ongoing needs of people with CF and their families throughout the whole of their lives.

About cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a progressive, lifelong, and life-shortening genetic condition that affects more than 570 people in New Zealand, it’s for whole of life, and there is no cure.

In New Zealand, CF is identified through the heel prick test undertaken on newborn babies and confirmed through sweat chloride and gene testing.

CF causes the body to produce thick, sticky mucus which means it is a multisystem condition with significant morbidity and mortality. CF damages the lungs, liver, digestive system, reproductive systems, sinuses, can cause CF related diabetes, weakened bone density, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.

People with CF endure a life-long, demanding, and time-consuming daily regime of lung clearance and medication together with regular medical check-ups and, over time, increasingly frequent hospital admissions.

It takes courage to live with and survive with CF, it can be isolating, painful, and frightening, leading to poor quality of life, as they face the potential for declining health, increased complications, major medical interventions, and premature death.

1 in 25 of us in New Zealand, carry the gene that causes cystic fibrosis, often without knowing.

For further information please visit:

Christmas tree sponsors

  • 3 Wise Men
  • Annie Newell - Lowe & Co
  • Banking Ombudsman
  • Bay Plaza
  • Buddle Findlay
  • California Home & Garden
  • Catalyst
  • Cystic Fibrosis New Zealand
  • Choice Fruit Products Limited
  • Christmas Creatives
  • Colliers
  • Designgroup Stapleton Elliott
  • Fiji Airways
  • Fonterra
  • GOfuel
  • Gorilla Burger
  • Hinemoa - Kairangi Masonic Lodge No 122
  • Kale Print
  • Lil Rosies
  • Lotte Duty Free
  • Marvel: Earths Mightiest Exhibition
  • Maude
  • MediaWorks
  • Morrison
  • Naturepac
  • Naylor Love
  • New Zealand Post
  • New Zealand Rugby
  • NZME
  • Octa
  • Pots by Aimee
  • Qantas
  • Queen Margaret College
  • Rydges Wellington Airport
  • Sams Art House
  • Samuel Marsden
  • Scots College
  • Shoe Clinic
  • Squirrel
  • St Catherine's College
  • Subway
  • Talbot Mills Research
  • Ted & Rose
  • The Children's Bookshop
  • The Gift Company
  • Three Quarter Society
  • TJ Katsu
  • TJ Poke
  • Travelex
  • Utilities Disputes
  • Wellington Airport
  • Wellington Phoenix
  • Welsh Dragon Bar
  • WingNut Films
  • WT Partnership
  • Zonta Club of Wellington
  • Stronghold