John, a Kāinga Ora customer, earned that moniker because he scooters everywhere around Timaru and through his notorious online videos which draw attention to everything from footpath maintenance and litter problems to questionable displays of driving.

“I’m known for getting around town on my scooter, but I never want to be defined by my disability,’’ explains 78-year-old John, who has a spinal condition which affects his mobility.

“Ever since I completed a computing course in 1994, I’ve loved the fun and self-expression you can have online and through social media.

“The videos I film and create are a good bit of fun for me, and they seem to bring a smile to people’s faces which is a bonus. All the new technology has kept a bit of keeping up with, but I enjoy it and it keeps me busy.

“Social media is a great tool for staying connected with your community and I wish more people of my generation gave it a whirl,” John says.

Increasing mobility issues means John is not producing as many videos as he used to, but there’s been an unexpected upside to that - he now has more time to enjoy his newly retrofitted home.

John has been living in his Kāinga Ora home for nearly four decades, but recently it was upgraded to make it warmer, drier and more energy efficient and to extend its lifespan.

The house was given a new kitchen and bathroom, a fresh lick of paint, and new double-glazing throughout.

“I’ve lived in this lovely home for over 37 years, but it’s never been as good as this,” John says. “The new windows keep the heat in much better than the old ones did and my power bills in the colder months are a lot smaller now.

“The new kitchen and bathroom are so much easier to use. I’m so grateful to Kāinga Ora for this place and the retrofit improvements.

“Now I just need to get my own facelift!” John jokes. 

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Page updated: 16 April 2024