Mike | Waterview

“About two days ago I was talking to a sergeant, the Police, and yeah me and him had quite open conversations. We talk about life. He helps me. He was helping to sort me out my bank account. And yeah we just talk about how I’m doing and what’s up, basically and I wouldn’t open up about the conversation but yeah.

Connected to your culture

Always feel connected to my culture, bro. I always feel connected to my culture. Born and raised in New Zealand, from South Auckland, Papakura until the age of 11, moved out to West Auckland and lived with my mother, and then things went downhill from there. My mother is an alcoholic, and yeah now I’ve been living in West Auckland for nearly seven years. Oh, it’s on and off; I have to – I have to do this most days to provide for me and my mum. If not, ah pretty basically I stay by myself if I can’t go home to provide for her. Then I’ll just kick on the street for a night.

I’m Ngāpuhi, from Matauri Bay, and basically I’m pale white, but I always feel like my culture’s with me, just because I’m always in nature, and I connect more with Māoris and Islanders than I do with my, with white people, to be fairly honest. I find it’s nicer conversation, more real conversation, and you don’t get a liar, basically. Just be kind to others and don’t judge people, unless you want to be judged yourself.

Random act of kindness

Um, just got given 10 bucks and some coins, and about 10 minutes ago I just gave some fella outside the Countdown this quite nicely buttered bun. Yeah, because I’m technically homeless. I street it, bro. I just hit those lights. I run up and down the intersection, and people help me out.

Yesterday morning a lovely lady, me and her sat down and had a conversation over a mocaccino. Um, so I was holding my sign outside the Countdown, and she said, do you want a hot drink? I said, yeah I love mocaccino’s with two sugars.

So she pulled up. She had her cappuccino and she’s, because we’ve known each other for nearly four years, so she started talking to me and I started telling her about what I’ve been up to for the past four years, and my job history, being made redundant, and going back and forth between work, being used for free labour. Yeah, and she basically just felt sorry for me. She said, it shouldn’t be happening in New Zealand that someone’s who’s 18 shouldn’t have to put them self out there for other people to rip them off.

So I hold this, hang a collection spot out, and as long as I’m nice and kind to people and I’m respectful and polite, most people will walk along and they will sometimes give me note, or coins. I always make enough to feed myself and my mum at the end of the day. So it’s never a struggle. The struggle is only in the beginning to get the money.

Karma’s a b*tch. It’s going to come back at you, so keep your karma good. That’s why I keep my karma good, and ah, comes back to me quite well, to be fairly honest. Like, yeah comes back to me quite well, and I always give. Any leftover I have that I don’t need for food, I give it away to the next homeless who’s trying to build up their food. Karma is always true.

I believe karma so well. It’s why literally, as long as I keep myself good, I work on my stuff, like my driver’s license and everything, and prove that I am actually looking for work. I have never struggled in this country.”

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