Maioro Barton has been praised recently for his good-sort attitude in a whole different light. He made the news last week after saving an elderly woman from a cold night on the street.
Driving home around 11.30pm, he saw the woman sitting on a bench on Victoria St.
“I went over the bridge, thinking about her, I was tired, but I thought I’d come back and ask if she was okay,” he recalled.
By the time he returned she was passing Liquorland, carrying two big bags with her. It turned out she had Alzheimer’s, and had been in town since midday.
“She was hesitant at first to jump in my car so I told her ‘I’m a safe person and I’m not going to hurt you, I’ll take you home.’”
When she got in, she couldn’t remember where she lived, or recognise the streets in the foggy darkness.
“So I said to her we’ll go to BP where there’s lights and cameras for both of our safety and I’ll call the police to see if they can assist.”
Police in the area were dealing with a domestic situation in Te Awamutu at the time, but were able to find her information on file as a person with dementia, and had her daughter’s contact details in case she went missing. They spoke with the 76-year-old over the phone, as well as Maioro, and told them to sit tight as they tried to get through to her daughter.
“But she was fast asleep and had left her phone out of the bedroom, so it took an hour to contact her,” Maioro explained. “So we took selfies and listened to her favourite band, The Beatles, while we waited for them to arrive.”
Eventually police phoned back to say both they and the daughter were on their way, and by 1.15am everyone was on their way home.
“Even though I was tired, hungry and cold I would do that all again because you never know what could’ve happened to her if I hadn’t of picked her up, and I wouldn’t have been able to sleep if I hadn’t of gone to check on her,” he said.