A Papakura father who provides mental health peer support for men in his community has been rewarded for his work in a way like no other.

Michael Nu'u was one of the lucky members of his community to be given a token of appreciation through BP's "magic" car wash campaign that launched on telly tonight.

The campaign involved customers - who had been secretly nominated by members of their community - driving through the BP car wash and coming out the other side with a surprise gift.

For Nu'u, it was a motorbike and a well-deserved one at that.


Four years ago Nu'u was diagnosed as bipolar and for the past year he had been working as a peer support specialist in South Auckland for Counties Manukau District Health Board.

"I've been through the system so I come from a different place when I deal with people that's not clinical, it's based around compassion and a deep understanding of what people are experiencing."

He said it could be shocking and scary when you were in that place and didn't know your way around the system.

"I lost myself as a person and I felt like a ward of the state so it's important work, I think, to make sure people have their own feet to stand on and their own to voice and have an avenue to be heard."

Driving with his son at the time of his big win, Nu'u said he couldn't believe it.

"I've never won anything in my life. It was amazing. I was so blown away and my son thought it was so cool."

Nu'u said he used to ride motorbikes all the time in his younger years and it was such a thrill to be able to pick it up again.

"I took it for a spin and disappeared for an hour and half after I got it. I was smiling so hard."