Tauranga's $10.3 million Powerball winner will sit down with Gareth Morgan today to compare notes on becoming a millionaire.
Lou Te Keeti said he's been inundated with messages from hundreds of well-wishers - and received numerous Facebook friend requests - since outing himself. Along with those messages he's also been in contact with Mr Morgan, the Opportunities Party leader and an early investor and director of TradeMe.
Mr Morgan, who came into $50m after the sale of TradeMe, said he was keen on comparing "notes on getting a windfall overnight and how disturbing it can be to your life".
He said he identified with Mr Te Keeti's story. After becoming a multimillionaire he realigned his priorities on how best to spend the money responsibly and his wife played a big role in keeping his head "screwed on" - much the same as Mr Te Keeti's wife appears to be doing.
Mr Te Keeti, who is in his 70s, wanted to buy his wife Val her a "dream house" but she stormed out telling him he could "get stuffed with my fancy plans". She later touched the walls of their home of 30 years as she explained "a big fancy house" wasn't them.
Mr Te Keeti said people seemed genuinely pleased for him and his whanau, with some of the messages of support coming from as far as Europe.
"The messages were very heartfelt. People said they identified with us.
"Many said they identified with the pragmatic and down-to-earth approach from my wife, Val ... many said they were moved by her touching the wall [of their house] and some said they found that emotional, the way a home is special because it retains and builds memories, not because it is fancy or has fancy things."
He said he had deleted some messages from people seeking money.
"While I had no adverse comments, of course, there were some idiots saying 'oh can you please give me $50,000 or something'.
"And then there were messages from businesses offering their services. I responded respectfully, saying 'thanks for offering investment services, or this or that, I will be in touch should I need them'."
He said he also had scores of friend requests on Facebook. He spent yesterday with his mokopuna who "were totally unfazed" that people now knew koro was a multimillionaire.
His wife was still coming to terms with it.
While I had no adverse comments, of course, there were some idiots saying 'oh can you please give me $50,000 or something.
"My wife is still overwhelmed by the whole win. She is a very private person. I don't want to elevate myself, that is not my role as kaitiaki. My role is to look after our past, look to our ancestors, look after my whanau and hapu, and be a guardian of our land, of the river and protect it for future generations."
Mr Te Keeti is giving $300,000 of his winnings to Waipuna Hospice, the local Heart Foundation, and a local diabetes charity.
He's also using some winnings as a "fighting fund" to reopen Treaty negotiations for his family's claim.
Morgan said he thought he would have things in common with Te Keeti, and would also like to talk to him about the Treaty claim as he had done "lots of work in this area".
"He might identify with the party because we champion the underdog ... our philosophy is that policies should be built on fairness."
LOCAL CHARITIES "HUMBLED" AND "OVERWHELMED" BY GENEROSITY
Three local charities are overwhelmed at the generosity of Tauranga's new millionaire, who is donating $100,000 each to Waipuna Hospice, the local Heart Foundation, and a local diabetes charity.
Te Keeti said he would this week hand over cheques to the charities.
He asked if the money could be used locally, and where possible for Maori.
He requested that local writer Tommy Kapai, who is an elected iwi representative on the board of Waipuna Hospice, could receive the $100,000 for the hospice,
"I would like him to receive the money on their behalf as he does a lot of behind-the- scenes work for them and I consider him my nephew and our local 'scribe'."
Kapai said that to be presented with the funds "from one Maori to another gives us all cause to celebrate, Maori and non-Maori."
Kapai said he was thrilled that a local person of mana had won the draw,
"Lou has been blessed by good fortune and for him to share it with those facing life's biggest challenge - to the hospice, with its location in full view of where Lou lives on the other side of the Wairoa river, is tikanga and mana personified."
Chief executive of Waipuna Hospice Richard Thurlow said he was "extremely thankful to receive such a donation".
"These funds will be put to use in providing care across all our services... this extremely kind donation by Mr Te Keeti helps us enter our new financial year with some certainty of funding."
Bay of Plenty ambassador for the Heart Foundation Tracey Rudduck-Gudsell said the foundation was "overwhelmed with his generosity".
"It is really hard to fundraise such an amount so these funds will directly benefit local people in our community."
Kat Macmillan, the Heart Foundation's heart health advocate, Midland Region, said the funds would go directly to local people and their whanau affected by heart disease,
"There are 172, 000 people living with heart disease, and we acknowledge that heart disease statistics with Maori are particularly concerning...we are delighted he chose us, and humbled."