Auckland woman overjoyed after strangers return lost wallet with rent money still inside

Teela Temu pictured with her daughters Dezaray Temu (16), De'Sjana Temu (12) and Pelenaise Diamond Vakaloa (10).
Teela Temu pictured with her daughters Dezaray Temu (16), De'Sjana Temu (12) and Pelenaise Diamond Vakaloa (10). Photo credit: Supplied.

An Auckland woman says she's overjoyed after two strangers returned her lost wallet with her rent money still inside. 

Teela Temu was shopping at New Lynn Mall on Monday morning when she dropped her wallet. The mother said she was distraught when she realised it had her ID and bank cards along with money for her shopping and bills. 

"I was devastated, I was worried about our bills that needed to be paid and as well as how am I going to feed my kids," she told Newshub. 

"I cried that day feeling worthless and useless and trying to figure out how am I going to move forward without no sort of I.D, bank cards, no money. I was distraught, I couldn't think straight."

She ran back to her car and was looking for her wallet when a passerby said two people had found it and were returning it to the information desk. Temu ran straight to the desk but was devastated to find it was closed. 

"Then I realised a young lady with an Islander male both were walking towards me and the female handed me my wallet," she said. 

"I am forever grateful and thankful and so happy they were kind enough to return it back with the money." 

Temu said the act of kindness was particularly poignant because her family is already struggling with the increasing cost of living. 

"I was really gutted but they turned my frown upside down and [I want to] thank them both so much. 

"We are already just getting by like any family here in Auckland and living costs are extremely hard to meet."

Temu is urging the pair to get in touch with her so she can offer them a reward for their kindness. 

"They deserve to be praised with the amount of crimes and car thefts in west Auckland along with gun violence.

"It's already scary and for this to happen to me is something I'll never forget and a reminder to myself that there are still good samaritans out there. I am blessed to have retrieved my wallet." 

She's not the only Kiwi struggling to make ends meet with the prices of goods and services skyrocketing. 

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand show annual inflation has increased 7.3 since the June 2021 quarter. That's the largest year-on-year increase since 1990 and follows a 6.9 percent annual increase recorded in the March quarter.

It is also pushing mortgage rates up as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand hikes the official cash rate in an effort to get inflation under control. 

Meanwhile, Auckland has seen a spike in crime with a spate of ram raids and smash-and-grab burglaries over the past few months.