Kind-hearted Herald readers have opened their wallets to help a bashed Auckland dairy owner pay an overdue power bill, while the power company has since withdrawn its disconnection notices.
Jitesh Arora suffered severe injuries to his right arm during an early morning robbery at the Crown Superette in Mt Roskill on March 12 when seven people entered the dairy armed with a baseball bat and crowbar.
The store has been closed since the attack, and Jitesh and his wife Preeti Arora have struggled financially - relying on a combined weekly payment of $688 from ACC.
The lack of income has the couple considering selling their business or declaring bankruptcy, while an overdue power bill and the threat of losing the store's electricity risked thousands of dollars of refrigerated stock.
Following the Herald's story earlier today, one reader, who wished to remain anonymous, offered to pay the entire bill to keep the power on.
He was one of several readers who offered to pay the power bill or donate to Jitesh and his family.
However, Nova Energy chief executive Babu Bahirathan said this afternoon the disconnection notices sent to Jitesh have since been withdrawn and the power will stay on.
"We are working with the family to ensure their power supply remains connected," he said.
"Nova's normal high level of customer service was not achieved in this situation, and Nova Energy would like to sincerely apologise to the Arora family for any additional stress this may have caused. In recognition of this, Nova has waived all outstanding charges to date for the Arora's business and home connections."
Jitesh was sent the disconnection notice on April 20, reading he had an overdue balance of $1029.97.
He was warned if he did not make the payment by 5pm today the energy supply would be cut off on Wednesday.
Jitesh's brother-in-law, Raj Chopra, said Jitesh and Preeti were overwhelmed with the generosity.
"I have no words to express that New Zealand is such a great country and [with] such nice people [that] we have here," Chopra said.
Thousands of dollars have also been donated to a Givealittle page, with Jitesh able to access the funds to help pay for living expenses and business expenses when the page closes on July 31.
More than $23,000 has been donated at the time of writing.
Police charged two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14, with aggravated robbery following the incident.