Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an APNZ reporter based in Christchurch.

Help pours in for Flat Man

Supermarkets, breweries, and radio stations all want a piece of Christchurch's first superhero. Photo / Geoff Sloan / Christchurch Star
Supermarkets, breweries, and radio stations all want a piece of Christchurch's first superhero. Photo / Geoff Sloan / Christchurch Star

Masked student superhero Flat Man has been inundated with offers of cash, beer, food - even a marriage proposal - since his exploits hit the headlines last week.

The mysterious caped avenger who has come to the aid of students in need has also had offers from major New Zealand companies wanting to back his amazing superpowers of generosity.

Supermarkets, breweries, and radio stations all want a piece of Christchurch's first superhero.

"It's gone crazy. In the last week, I've had hundreds of new friends requests on Facebook, and been swamped with messages," says Flat Man, who dresses in a provincially themed red-and-black costume.

"Ex-students, who know how hard it can be being a student, have offered to give me money and food, which is great.

"I'm working through the offers from some pretty major companies at the moment and trying to weigh up what's best for the students. I want someone on board who'll be able to help the students the best."

The secretive Flat Man, who goes to extreme lengths to protect his identity from everyone, including his own student flatmates, accepts that attracting the backing of a brewery company would be a dream move.

"They [students] may have nothing in the cupboard, but all they really want is beer," he says.

While he ponders his next move, he still has plenty to do around the Canterbury University campus.

Today he's doing a 'KFC Easter Treasure Hunt', where he will put an X on a map uploaded to his Facebook page, and the first person to track it down will find a $40 KFC voucher.

The university student from Christchurch, who was inspired by the Student Volunteer Army's work in the wake of the city's earthquakes, is also filming a Flat Man video next week, following his exploits around the quake-battered city. It ends with him making one of his flat doorstep deliveries.

"I never planned it to go this massive, but while I'm using my super-human powers of hooking students up, I may as well try and take it as far as I can.''

Since last November, he has delivered food parcels, which usually include household basic items like toilet rolls, laundry powder, washing up liquid, but also some treats - "always chips, coke and chocolate" - to more than 15 city flats.

All of the Flat Man stunts are funded from his own pocket, and have cost him hundreds of dollars.

"I just want to share the love in Christchurch and hope that by helping people, it will encourage others to look out for each other.''

While he has designed his own Flat Man costume, lighting bolt logo, and has a Facebook profile with more than 1000 followers, he's now secured his own Flat Mobile.

"I bought a skateboard for $2 from an op shop. It's a classic student mode of transport and keeps in with Flat Man's student roots."

- APNZ

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