Bernie Horn­feck helped build the kau­matua flats at Apumoana Marae, but he never thought he’d be liv­ing in one of them.

Horn­feck, 89, is stay­ing at the Marae in the wake of the June 20 fire that de­stroyed his Lyn­more res­i­dence last Tues­day - his home for the last 50 years.

While Horn­feck said his in­surer will pay for a new home, he had no con­tents in­surance.

The much loved ac­tivist and com­mu­nity gardner is also be­ing backed by a fundrais­ing cam­paign set up by Te Rin­gahuia Hata, who wanted to raise funds to help Horn­feck get back on his feet.

‘‘Bernie is our lo­cal hero on many lev­els and loved by ev­ery­one,’’ she said.

‘‘Bernie has been an in­spi­ra­tion to me since meet­ing him at a land hui back in Whaka­to­hea years ago.

‘‘His po­lit­i­cal anal­y­sis is ac­cu­rate ev­ery time and his sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity and con­cern for the prob­lems and in­jus­tices of so­ci­ety is in­fec­tious.

‘‘He is a gen­tle­man, hum­ble and hugely po­lite and I set this page up as a way of giv­ing back to Bernie.’’

Horn­feck said he greatly ap­pre­ci­ated the out­pour­ing of con­cern and of­fers of help that had come his way, some from as far afield as the United King­dom and South Africa.

‘‘Peo­ple have been won­der­ful,’’ he said.

‘‘But I haven’t re­ally been sur­prised be­cause that’s what peo­ple are like.’’

He also said work would be­gin to clean up his fire dam­aged prop­erty al­most im­me­di­ately, and that his in­sur­ers will fund a new home.

‘‘Sounds like it will be a col­lab­o­ra­tion. They’ll want my ideas so I think I’l have a say.’’

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