Blanket Man’s tangi to be paid for by philanthropist

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Wellington Philanthropist Gareth Morgan is going to pay for the funeral of ‘Blanket Man’.

Ben Hana died in Wellington Hospital on Sunday afternoon, after spending years living on the street in Courtenay Place.

He left no money for funeral costs and his family has said they’ll struggle to pay for one.

Mr Morgan, who recently came to the aid of the struggling Wellington Phoenix, has now offered to pay.

He says while he didn’t know Blanket Man well, he was a Wellingtonian and deserves a send off like everyone else.

Gareth Morgan | Background

Economist and investment adviser Gareth Morgan puts his money where his mouth is. He once spent three years living in a bus while trying to perfect a system for picking winners in horse races (he didn’t) and could be expected to take the money and run when he made serious money.

But Morgan has always despised what he calls the “proliferation of privilege”. He had enough money, he said. He drove a Toyota Echo – wasn’t into fancy cars (just powerful motorbikes). His four children had already had their inheritance in the form of their education, backed with Morgan and his wife Jo’s training in the value of hard work, independence, the ability to take risks – “put their heads down and go for it”.

Morgan helped his son Sam with TradeMe, “buying a couple of hoardings, funding a letterbox drop”. He also lent him $75,000 when Sam needed to expand, and was delighted when Fairfax bought the company for $700 million.

Almost immediately, Morgan decided to give his $47 million share to charity.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Blanketman was an institution…he was well looked after by nearly everyone except the wcc who would have him arrested to get rid of his slightly embarressing presence!!!…there are plenty of other blanketmans in welly and around nz..maybe stop writing and go find someone to help or befriend
    One.

  2. Im with the person who says dissappointed at the family…i mean where were they? and yes there are ways of getting around funeral costs…both my folks passed away in 2010 suddenly a few weeks apart from each other each of them had over 200 people pass through.and im an only child and they had no funeral insurance..ppl pull together if they care enough. things were a struggle but they happened…I just really hope that people dont take his generosity for granted and just turn up to eat n drink all the kai etc… what a great guy i wish i had someone ike u helpin me…i didnt even knw of blanketman .but moe mai i te rangimarie… x

  3. Lots of people will go to a famous persons funeral, it would be hard on a family to pay for that. Its nice that a person would see the need to do what Mr Morgan has done. His family might be astounded by how many people saw him as more than just a person living rough. I think most people who really think it is his families problem should think about the hardship a sudden death can bring to a family. I think Ben Hana lived a life of simplicity. It is heartening to see that people can still respect that, in a world that has become obsessed with material possessions.

  4. Rest easy Mr Hana, u go to a better place. I never knew this man or heard of him till reading this sad news on the internet, it is very humbling to know there are people out there willing to do things for others that they do not know, especially when they find out the person was homeless, most people are more likely to turn their heads then their wallets, you are a special person Mr Morgan, thank u for ur generosity, Mr Hana would be greatful..

  5. Ae tautoko nga korero. Kei hea te whanaungatanga, aroha, Aue taukuri e!!
    There are many people like Gareth in this world,and to those who have had the experience of such a gift like that, have to be the most luckiest person ever.
    Ka nui te mihi kia koe Gareth

  6. Let the man leave us wiv wot mana ow world left 2guy who paid 4his tangi nga mihi kia koe 4those that r bitter and who are moaning bwt trival thingz money let his family morn te whanau pani tino pouri ki tou ngaro te rangatira moe mai ra haere ki tou atua ki runga rawa haere haere atu ra

    • Yeah trivial things like money? If you all chipped in there wouldn’t be a problem? Talk about Mana? Really sad.

  7. Good on you Gareth! Pity everyone is interested now? Too late! Here come the professional Tangi followers. As long as its free they will eat and drink as much as they can!

    • Ya not wrong about that one David..there are some low people out thea who will show up for the wrong reason…No morals or respect!

  8. Alot of New Zealanders would appreciate your kindness Gareth Morgan like myself. I had first heard of the blanket man through bebo many years ago. I dont think he realised how many people knew of him through the social network. In my eyes I say that we were his blanket in the end and Gareth Morgan, you have definitly sealed that with your kindness. “Rest easy blanket man”
    Sera Reihana

  9. ummm … A little annoyed at his family …

    We all struggle to pay for our loved ones final farewell … unless they’re insured … But not everyone is insured … Yet! … somehow we do manage to get through it! … I’m sure there would have been many financial donations made by other family and friends and even people who didn’t know him personally but knew of him … probably would have made donations toward his send off …

    It’s no wonder he lived the way he did … Can’t feel the love from that family … How Mean!!! … Oh you might … now that … Gareth Morgan … has stepped in to pay for it!!!

    What a “Gentleman” …

    • How long did he sleep on the streets?
      How many people stepped over him?
      How alone was he?
      How much abuse did he get?
      How many people kicked him?
      Nobody knows what abuse he took!
      Where was his Family?
      He is dead now and everyone wants to know him? (Pretends to Know him)
      Disgusting!
      Doesn’t make sense to me?
      Thankyou Gareth Morgan! At least you have “Mana”

  10. That is so pleasing to see, that someone ‘WHO HAS’, in the way of finance, is coming to the aid of a person they did not know and ‘WHO HAD NOTHING’. It’s a crying shame there were not more people in the world like him. Thank you Mr Morgan for restoring my faith in mankind.

  11. He says “while he didnt know Blanket Man well, he was a Wellingtonian and deserves a send off like everyone else” – Gareth Morgan
    We need more people like him!! our world would be a better place

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