Congratulations Michael Cook!
"There are times and situations when technology cannot help. Salvation comes down to the kindness of random strangers. I had such an experience earlier this year while on holiday. My wife and I planned to return to Wellington from a beach holiday on the Coromandel via Rotorua and Napier and we decided to take the route through the Ureweras to Waikaremoana and Wairoa and then on to Napier. The Ureweras is Tuhoe country, remote, misty and we had been impressed by the silence one can "hear".We set off on a Saturday from Rotorua in our VW Golf upwards into the hills and the mist, and the seal ran out. Just after the settlement of Ruatahuna the steering felt strange. We stopped the car and found we had a puncture. On cars like the Golf the spare is just a half wheel meant for a bit of urban running; max speed 30 kilometres-an-hour. We changed the wheel and continued very slowly over the rough gravel road. Twenty kilometres on we stopped to inspect it. It had shredded itself. There was no cell phone coverage, no AA, no roadside assist, nothing but mist and silence, punctuated by the occasional passing motorist. We calculated that the best strategy was to get the spare wheel repaired in the closest town, Wairoa. About then a nice English couple from Essex,Paul and Sandra,stopped and offered their help, and to take me and the wheel to Wairoa. It is here that Michael Cook, of Firestone came into the story. He opened up the Firestone store inspected the wheel and told me the tyre needed replacing, and fitted a new tyre. It was then about 4pm and my wife was still back in the car in the mist and without cell phone coverage. But Michael agreed to take me and the wheel back to my car which was 75 kilometres away and, accompanied by his son and work mate Cameron we headed off into the wilderness, with Michael talking of his desire to get ahead in life, the importance of education, and how he's taking every opportunity to get more skills training. Back at the car he fitted the wheel and led us safely back to Wairoa. It was a wonderful piece of customer service on a wet Saturday evening. On the journey my wife told me that about a dozen cars had passed by in the five hours I had been away, and every one had stopped to ask if they could help. When technology is useless we have to rely on ordinary human action to get us out of extraordinary situations. The actions of these motorists,and of Paul, Sandra and Michael were positive reminders of the kindness of random strangers."