When Nikau Munroe Rawiri's birthday started off by putting a staple through his finger at work, winding him up in hospital, he didn't expect to end up on TV that night as a Good Samaritan.
Due to a high number of vehicle crashes in the area that day, Whangārei Hospital was busy so after spending most of the day and night waiting, the humble Kamo resident and his partner Jordana Naera were well-bored when they started scrolling through their Facebook news feeds.
"We were bored-as so we began scrolling through Facebook and saw this video shared on the Buy and Sell Whangārei page, which I follow," recalls the now 20-year-old. "And I thought, 'I know that house!'.
Seven Sharp had aired a news item earlier that evening interviewing 81-year-old Kamo resident Cynthia Brown who was mowing her lawns last weekend when a young man stopped his car and offered to help. He then proceeded to carry out a top-notch job while his partner waited.
"It was a big surprise," Brown told Seven Sharp. "And I told him it was ok, I was managing, and he insisted, so I thought, how neat, so I let him mow my lawn."
After her mother relayed what had happened, her daughter Cheryl Smith put a call-out on the Northland Grapevine seeking the man to reward him. It got over 2,000 reactions and Seven Sharp spotted the post and contacted her.
The following Facebook video link of the footage was shared hundreds of times but, Munroe Rawiri, not thinking anything of it, hadn't told anyone of his deed so he remained unidentified.
"We were just cracking up when we watched it," said Munroe Rawiri. "It had been a long day but, when I saw the video, it definitely made me feel better."
It was only after his partner shared the post stating that it was the perfect way to end his birthday, that the Good Samaritan's name came to light.
Munroe Rawiri and his brother had been mowing the family cemetery earlier that day and was on his way, with Naera, to then mow his mother's lawn, when he spotted Brown.
"I was making my way to my mother's and I saw this lady mowing her lawns and it was a hot-as day. I got up the road and was having this big internal conflict with myself; my head was saying to go but my heart was saying to help her out.
"I live my life to nurture, that's how I live my life. My whānau have that mentality I guess and I think plenty of my family would have done the same."
He said it was only a quick ten-minute job to mow Brown's lawn with her 15-year-old ECO 500 battery-powered lawn mower - "I didn't even know those exist!" - and Brown confirmed he did a 'really good job'.
"He was just going carefully over everything and I thought, 'oh perhaps he's going to do a better job than me!"
As well as the post being shared hundreds of times, Smith's own Facebook was flooded with messages from both people from her past who had seen her on TV and strangers.
"Gazillions of people have come out of the woodwork. I've had messages and texts from people that we know and others following all the positivity that's come out of it. It's so cool and that's what makes me want to keep the momentum going."
Smith, who owns North Pest, offered Munroe Rawiri a pest control service to thank him for the service he gave her mother which he 'graciously declined' saying their gratitude was more than enough.
Instead, she presented him with a hamper of pest control products at their reunion yesterday when both Seven Sharp and The Northern Advocate visited for a follow-up story.
"Mum's very independent and one of those people who likes to mow her lawns every week but the fact that Nikau, who was obviously on his way elsewhere, insisted on helping is just neat, especially when there's a lot of bad in the world."
Munroe Rawiri said after people started tagging his name in posts, his phone had been 'going crazy'.
"It's been primo. It's been different – I've been at mahi (work) all day," said the Wood Products employee, adding that his work mates were oblivious to the fuss as he hadn't mentioned it.
Naera said she didn't mind waiting while her partner carried out the service.
"This is just the type of thing he does for people. I just chatted (with Brown) about the gardens as we both want to get into gardening."
Following the reunion, he and his partner were planning on heading up north to celebrate his birthday with whānau. He left hospital on his actual birthday at 10pm and said it was no drama. "They just pulled (the staple) out, gave me antibiotics and I was good to go."
Munroe Rawiri said he drives past Brown's house daily. When asked what he would do the next time he sees her out mowing her lawn. He replied without hesitation:
"Then I'd mow them again."