While Tauranga's Ben O'Dea was busy bringing home bronze at the Commonwealth Games with his brother Sam, fans back home were rallying to replace his stolen Nissan Terrano.

The medal winner had hoped to start his solar panel maintenance business as soon as he returned on April 17 before having to undergo shoulder surgery in a few weeks.

However, his trusty Terrano was stolen from his Mount Maunganui home while he and Sam represented New Zealand in men's beach volleyball at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games this month.

After hearing the news, former Tauranga detective sergeant and family friend of more than 17 years Peter Blackwell approached Mike Farmer of Farmer Autovillage who offered to replace the 4WD.


New World Mount Maunganui owner Allan Rudkin also offered to write a cheque for $1000 after spotting Blackwell at the supermarket.

O'Dea received the keys to his new 2011 Nissan Primera yesterday and was "really stoked".

"It is pretty humbling to think there are people who have stepped up to help - even people I had never met before," he said.

"Sometimes it takes an unfortunate situation like this for you to realise how selfless people are. It is an affirmation of a tight-knit community."

Farmer said the 2011 Nissan Primera had only 77,000km on the clock and retailed for about $6000.

"It is a good reliable car," he said.

Rudkin said he was "grateful to be able to make this happen".

Peter Blackwell was pleased to help O'Dea get back on the road.


"Do good things, and good things happen. We are proud of what they have done," he said.

O'Dea said although he was blown away by the donation, he would miss his Terrano.

"It wasn't brand new, but it was a good truck that was going to last a long time," he said.

O'Dea had bought the truck from a Hamilton man who had been the sole owner before selling it to the volleyballer.

"He teared up a little bit when he sold it to me," O'Dea said. "He was pretty attached to that car. One of the things he said when he sold it to me was to make sure I looked after it."

O'Dea hoped to contact the previous owner to explain what had happened.