Hamilton students reap rewards for handing in lost bag of cash

By Jesse King (Wintec Journalism Student) -
Alex Fisher and Hakeke Kingi wearing their new Chiefs jerseys. Photo/Jesse King
Alex Fisher and Hakeke Kingi wearing their new Chiefs jerseys. Photo/Jesse King

When schoolmates Alex Fisher and Hakeke Kingi came across a bag with cash left on a city street, they knew exactly what to do.

The two primary students were walking home after school past Waikato Hospital when they saw the bag sitting in the middle of the road.

Alex and Hakeke of Hamilton West School walked over to see what it was. As they got closer, they couldn't believe their eyes.

"I said, 'hey Alex look, there's a little bag with money in it'," Hakeke said.

"Straight away we knew what we had to do."

The bag was sitting in an entrance way to Waikato Hospital parking. Alex picked it up and saw some writing on the back that told him it belonged in the hospital.

As luck would have it, the boys located a man on a scooter nearby who was part of hospital security and they handed the money over to him.

"He rode away, we waited for a couple of minutes and then he came back to say we did a good job," Alex said.

The boys' efforts were celebrated on Thursday at Hamilton West School's assembly. There they were presented with Chiefs jerseys, tickets to a Chiefs home game and some cash to spend by John Gallagher, a director on Gallagher's board.

"We give a lot of awards out to different areas in the education sector, but nothing exactly like this," Mr Gallagher said.

"I think it is excellent to see [what they did] and for being rewarded for it as well. It is great to see people being honest.

"We get a lot of negative stuff happening and here is something that is a very positive thing."

The boys also received a certificate of commendation from the police which was handed to them by Community Constable Niwha Jones.

"So this is heaps better than all those other things. This has got mine and [principal] Mr Penman's signatures on it," Mr Jones joked before handing the boys their certificates.
"You boys made me very proud to be Māori," he said.

"I was embarrassed, happy and excited. My legs were shaking," Alex said after the assembly.

"Every time I kept walking up [to the stage], it felt like I was an actor or something," Hakeke said.

"Like a hero. A hero of Ham West," Alex added.

Principal Mark Penman said the boys had done very well, but so had their families.

"The whanau were here supporting them, so their values were instilled in the home," he said.

The boys were never tempted to do anything else with the sum, a figure that they haven't found out.

"It looked like a little bit of money, maybe $1.50, so I was like, who would want that?" Hakeke joked.

"Plus who has the time to open the packet and count the money?" Alex questioned.

The boys agreed that they had learned a good lesson from what they had done.

"Be honest and if you see money, give it back," Hakeke said.

For more articles from this region, go to

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 30 Mar 2017 17:53:04 Processing Time: 623ms