New UNICEF NZ Ambassador Jonah Lomu is supporting the charity's Say No to Naff campaign. New UNICEF NZ Ambassador Jonah Lomu is supporting the charity's Say No to Naff campaign. CREDIT: UNICEF New Zealand
Rugby legend Jonah Lomu with sons Brayley  and Dhyreille. Rugby legend Jonah Lomu with sons Brayley and Dhyreille. CREDIT: UNICEF New Zealand

Jonah Lomu Becomes New Ambassador for UNICEF NZ

Tuesday 22 November 2011, 8:51AM
By UNICEF New Zealand

Rugby legend Jonah Lomu has taken on an important new role as Ambassador for UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund). He joins famous Kiwi supporters of the children’s charity like Hayley Westenra and Mike McRoberts, as well as global sports stars such as Novak Djokovic, Fernando Alonso and Manchester United FC who all represent UNICEF in their home countries.

Jonah said, “My kids mean the world to me and I’m doing everything I can to give them the best start in life, but there are so many children around the world who are disadvantaged from the time they are born.

“I want to help change those kids’ lives and becoming an ambassador for UNICEF NZ is the best way for me to do that. It is an amazing charity doing so much in New Zealand and globally to make a difference for children - I’m so proud to call myself an Ambassador!”

Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director of UNICEF NZ, said “Jonah Lomu is a hero to so many New Zealanders, young and old, so we’re very excited that he has joined the UNICEF team to help save and protect children around the world.

“Jonah is in great company with so many global sports stars acting as UNICEF Ambassadors. We strongly believe in sport and play because they are vital elements in the health, happiness and well-being of children and young people, so Jonah is the perfect fit. We’re looking forward to a long partnership together.”

Jonah’s first job as Ambassador is fronting the charity’s Say No to Naff campaign, which encourages people to buy an Inspired Gift from UNICEF NZ this Christmas instead of giving ‘naff’ presents to loved ones!

A UNICEF Inspired Gift has the potential to last a lifetime for children and their families in developing countries. All you need to do is choose an item, from polio vaccines to story books, and UNICEF guarantees it will be delivered straight to a child that needs it. Loved ones then get a personalised card letting them know about the thoughtful purchase made in their name.

Jonah added, “We’ve all received (and probably given!) the odd dodgy Christmas gift in our time, so this year why not Say No to Naff and instead buy an Inspired Gift from UNICEF? You’ll be changing kids’ lives in over 60 countries all over the globe from Cameroon to Cambodia – that’s the kind of gift I think all of us would want to receive under the Christmas tree.”

Dennis McKinlay said, “Last year Kiwis purchased almost a million litres of clean water (through the provision of water purification tablets), 1000 story books, 13,000 polio and measles vaccinations and 50,000 school exercise books! Inspired Gifts from UNICEF are a real way to make a tangible difference and we guarantee that each item will be delivered to the field where the need is greatest.

“So why not follow in Jonah’s footsteps, Say No to Naff and say Yes to an Inspired Gift by going to .”