If I was to ask you who Peter Gene Hernandez was, you like me would probably have no idea.

Ask any 13-year-old boy or girl and you will get an overwhelming "hell yeah" he is Bruno Mars the coolest of the cool, with more hip-swinging moves than a Hawaiian inside a hula hoop.

So when your 13-year old daughter asks her 63-year-old Papa can she go to see him you also know it wasn't an open invite to join her inside Spark Arena on Saturday night.

Thankfully her mother with all the right moves learned from her Latin American dance troupe touring days, was a more than acceptable companion.


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So my job was to find them tickets and get them to the show on time.

Not such a hard a call I thought to myself having a clean credit card and an account with an online ticketing resale outlet called Viagogo.

Yes I know there have been more than a few warning bells ringing out about Viagogo but
everything looked kapai when I downloaded the two tickets on to my phone and presented them to the ticketing window outside Spark Arena, five hours before show time.

It only took one long empathetic look from the lovely lady behind the window to know I had bought dud tickets and there would be no show for my girl to go to and telling her this was going to be a tough call.

She, like all the girls going to the concert were amped up like a fully charged iPhone, and given the cost of the tickets, very few of her friends could even consider the possibility of being there when Bruno the 'main man' Mars, with his pliant lips and bungy chord hips would sing and swing his way through a string of No 1 hits that have netted him record sales in excess of 140 million worldwide.

How could I go back to the car where she was waiting outside the Spark Arena for Dad to deliver the goods for her and Mum?

She tried bravely to shrug it off saying 'it's ok Dad' but I knew she was hurting big time. And when she hurts I hurt with her, driving me to drop them off at the hotel and return to the arena and camp on the forecourt for four very long hours to try and scalp a couple of seats.

That's when I started to see the same sad story being played out over and over again by adoring parents trying to console their daughters when they had found out they too had been scammed by Viagogo.

All up there was 70 of us and that was just the group who stayed and could not accept a no-show for our kids. It had to be one of the saddest situations I had encountered and all of us were powerless to do something about it. Watching these little darlings crying their eyes out because not only were they not going to see their idol but the shame and embarrassment of having to tell their mates at school on Monday was heart wrenching.

How can this happen, we all asked? How could rip-off artists hurt our kids and get away with it? It is something all 70 of us have banded together to ask the Commerce Commission.

Does this story have a fairy tale ending for our girl? Well yes it does, but not for most of the others who could not afford the cost of another ticket, especially if they too were fake. That was the case of one mother who almost got stung twice after being offered two more dud tickets for $500 from a mother who could not attend as there was a family tragedy.

She too was scammed and thankfully had the decency to have her tickets checked before offering them to the distraught mum who would do anything to get her girl inside the pavilion doors.

Just as the doors were about to open and I had been sitting standing and staring for four very long hours, a white knight - well, a brown Maori one actually, showed up and approached my wife as he could see she was trying to comfort our girl who was watching thousands of excited kids enter the arena.

Turns out he had one ticket because his girl had made it into a netball rep team trial and he was willing to take our girl in with his wife and their teenage son.

I don't know who was happiest and teary-eyed - mum, dad or our daughter. It surely was a moment of sheer joy. What a wonderful whanau who rescued our faith in human kindness and reached out to us in our time of need.

Who they were we still don't know other than they were from Porirua and one sweet day I hope to run into them on the highway of life and tautoko their random act of aroha.