Santa likely target: police

Wanaka police suspect a man spotted on the roof of the Wanaka Hotel early on Saturday morning was trying to take one of the town's stuffed Santas.

A police spokeswoman said the 24-year-old Wanaka man had been asked to leave the Bullock Bar earlier on Friday evening and was later seen on the roof of the neighbouring hotel, where one of the life-sized stuffed Santas - which decorate the town every year for a pre-Christmas competition - was positioned.

The man was issued with a pre-charge warning for being unlawfully on a building.