Grilling burgers for a cause
There’s no denying it, Richard Tumai makes a mean burger.
But what’s even more substantial than his hearty burgers, is the Huntly man’s heart of gold.
Throughout the year, Tumai and his wife Dolly set up their burger and sausage sizzle stand in Huntly West.
Complete with a one metre by one metre board full of random bits of advice and sayings including ‘‘only losers do stink things,’’ Tumai is on a mission to help the community.
They serve up the world famous in Huntly ’easy burger’ chock-full with eggs, onions and bacon, but Tumai’s not there to make a profit.
Instead, after covering their own costs, the couple inject their profits back into the community - distributing to where the money is needed most, helping out the town’s most needy.
‘‘Most of the time we struggle to get our money back, but that doesn’t faze us,’’ he said.
The funds he raises normally go towards buying second-hand clothing, cutlery and food for the people who are struggling most.
It’s a no questions asked policy for Tumai on handing out the goodies - he only wants to help - not pry.
‘‘Some mothers walk about five kilometres to get here.. [but] I don’t delve into their personal lives.’’
A born and bred Rangiriri local, Tumai said his giving nature was ‘‘just how things were done on the marae.’’
Tumai started his fundraising about two years ago for community and church groups.
Then he tried to start up his own little market but a lack of interest and commitment meant he was on his own.
In recent times is burger stall was accompanied by a cake stall which has since been closed down and he doesn’t know if they organisers will be back.
The couple serve a range of individuals - from school kids to builders to gang members and Tumai said he has also felt a positive change in the Huntly West atmosphere.
‘‘The area has been put down a lot, but it’s not what people make it out to be.’’
Under Waikato District Council guidelines he is allowed to operate the fundraising stall 20 times in a year.
Continuing his current venture he will feed the community any way possible.