Mike Garner is the hero who stepped up to help a Hamilton woman and instead got punched to the ground.

Garner's sister Claire contacted the Herald, explaining that her brother had been visiting her from the UK and did not have a New Zealand number, which was why he had been difficult to track down.

Charlie Tamuno had been driving to Auckland each day in the desperate hope of finding and thanking her stranger hero - and today, after sharing her story with the Herald, she was successful.

Tamuno had just finished work at a nightclub in Auckland's CBD at about 4am and was walking along Beach Rd back to where her car was parked when she was approached by a man in his 20s.


She told the man, who was tall with a large build, that she had had a long night and wasn't interested in talking and kept walking.

But the man kept following her.

Feeling unsafe, the 20-year-old crossed the road and waited for a man on the other side of the road who was walking the same direction and told him she thought she was being followed.

The man, whose name she learned was Mike, was from the UK and looked in his mid-20s with light brown hair, a beard and left eyebrow ring, kindly offered to walk her to her car and helped carry her bags.

The pair were walking along and chatting when the stalker caught up with them.

"He kept asking us all these questions and we were like yeah, we are together, this is my boyfriend and he just came to pick me up - just leave me alone kind of thing."

He didn't believe them and then tried to pay Tamuno for cigarettes.

"He was acting really odd. He was walking backwards talking to us. We were trying to ignore him and laugh it off and said we are just going to go now."


But just as they thought the man was about to walk away the offender muttered 'F*** this' and grabbed Mike by the back of his neck and punched him in the face three times.

"Mike didn't have time to put his hands up. He wouldn't have had time to do anything."

He looked at Mike who was unconscious and whose eyes had rolled to the back of his head before disappearing around the corner.

"He just knocked him clean out ... The way he knocked Mike out he must be in some fighting club or something like that. He really knew what he was doing."

Blood was pouring from his head as he lay lifelessly on the ground.

Tamuno put the blanket she had with her under his head as she placed him in the recovery position.

"He was completely unconscious, and his eyes were open and rolled into the back of his head. He was making this horrible noise like he was trying to breathe but he couldn't."

"I called 111 and then he stopped breathing so I carried out CPR on him."

Tamuno said other people heard her screams and ran to help.

When the ambulance and police arrived, Mike regained consciousness.

"He started asking if I was okay, but I was hysterical and apologising."

She went to check on him in the ambulance and told him she would meet him at the hospital after giving police her statement.

When the police officers dropped her back to the hospital three hours later, she was unable to find him.

She returned to the station to ask for a name but the officers had gone home and the report had not been filed.

Tamuno has been to the police station and hospital each day but has not found him. She discovered his last name could be Garner after someone who ran to help on Saturday saw her post asking for help to track down her hero contacted her.

Auckland Hospital said someone by that name had been discharged that same day he was admitted.

Tamuno said it was really important to her to get in touch with Mike, thank him and pay for any of his medical costs.

Some items had fallen from his pocket including a lighter and about $50 worth of cigarettes which she wanted to return to him.

"I need to say thank you and pay for everything that needs to be paid for and give him back his smokes. He probably feels like I just ditched him in that ambulance and just went home whatever.

"That's really not fair. If I got laid out for someone I would like to see them face-to-face after and be like 'hey, how are you doing'."

She had also bought him a bottle of Jim Beam as a thank you.

Auckland City Acting Senior Sergeant Mark Hamilton said police were investigating the assault.

He confirmed Tamuno was approached by a man and asked for Garner's help when she encountered him.

"The unknown male has approached the pair again and was asked on multiple occasions to leave, but refused to do so," he said. "The unknown male then punched the other man multiple times in the head. He then fled the scene."

Hamilton said police were continuing to work with Tamuno and Garner.

"We would like to thank the man for his actions in going to assist the woman who was distressed that night," he said.

Police were also seeking sightings of the offender.

He was described as a Maori or Pacific Islander, aged in his 20s and about 152cm tall. He was wearing silver hoop earrings in both ears and a black hoodie with grey coloured graffiti-style writing on the front.

Anyone who saw the attack is asked to contact police on (09) 302 6400.