Whanganui boy and New Zealand's 2019 Sportsman of the Year Israel Adesanya is showing his support in the fight against Covid-19.
The mixed martial arts exponent and UFC middleweight world champion is dipping into his own pocket to provide 10,000 three-ply face masks and 1000 eye protection face shields for Whanganui's frontline health staff.
Adesanya said it is a small way of helping, but a small thing can go a long way.
"I can't do it for the whole world, but I can help the communities I know, the places that I have been a part of."
He is also supplying personal protective equipment (PPE) in Auckland, where he now lives, and the Nigerian city of Lagos, where he was born.
Adesanya came to Whanganui as a teenager with his parents. His family still lives here, with his mum, Tai, a nurse in the emergency department at Whanganui Hospital.
The UFC champion first developed an interest in mixed martial arts and it was in Whanganui that he started a kickboxing career that has taken him to the international stages.
Whanganui District Health Board (DHB) chief executive Russell Simpson said he was humbled by Adesanya's generosity.
"The DHB is extremely grateful that Israel has DHB staff and the healthcare community in his thoughts as we fight against Covid-19. On behalf of all of the staff at Whanganui DHB, we thank him for his generous donation."
The PPE is expected to arrive within two weeks.
On Wednesday Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield gave a "categorical assurance" that there was a good supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the health sector with a nationalised distribution chain.
He said he wasn't prepared to give individual assurances as there are more than 100,000 health care workers in New Zealand.
Bloomfield said he wouldn't expect for PPE to be reused or recycled as there was good stock, but there were differences about how long each piece could be used for.
For example, a mask could be used until it got damp, he said.