Identity of St Peter's student giving kind notes to strangers on train revealed

A St Peter's College student who's been handing out positive notes to commuters wants to change the culture of isolation on Auckland's trains and get people talking to each other. 

Tainui Singh-Clark, 16, has revealed himself as 'Your St Peters Man' who has been giving the handwritten messages to strangers since earlier this year, leaving smiles in his wake.

He came to Newshub's attention after a recipient emailed photos of two notes she'd received, wanting to thank him for putting "a smile on my dial on the wet and miserable day".

One of the many notes handed out by Tainui Singh-Clark
(Samantha King / Supplied)

One of her messages read: "Good morning! You're such a beautiful human being, I just wanted to remind you in case you forgot. I hope you smile at this note."

The Year 12 student, who has a reputation for his positivity, said he first got the idea after a volleyball practice earlier in the year. 

"I caught the train home by myself. There was a grumpy lady on the train who looked all sad and looked down a bit. I gave her a smile and she didn't smile back at me," he told Newshub.

"It made me realise everyone else on the train is kind of like that. No one else really smiles on the train and so I decided from then on I'd write notes morning and afternoon."

Tainui writes between 20 and 30 messages each morning and afternoon in preparation for his ritual.

"Sometimes people forget to say those things to other people, or they forget that they are that type of person - saying they're amazing or awesome, some people just need that sometimes."

Identity of St Peter's student giving kind notes to strangers on train revealed

He says while he felt nervous about doing it the first time, "overall I thought it would be a good thing to do and seeing people smile makes me feel better".

Among those who've flashed a smile upon reading their note, there have been a few unexpected reactions from commuters too.

"I've had a man cry because he was overwhelmed by the note and made his day, I received a letter back saying 'thank you', but I've had people who haven't taken the note because they think I'm advertising something or selling something. 

"I didn't really expect a note back or for someone to cry or anything like that. All I expected back was a simple smile and a thank you in the morning and that would make my day start off on a good note," he said.

He says his friends weren't surprised to know he was the one passing the notes around, some of them even watch his school bag while he wanders along the carriage.

Tainui says his social experiment has changed the way he sees people.

"When you go on the train in the morning you see how people just isolate themselves and don't really talk to anyone else.

"I'm trying to break the barrier so people can talk to each other and have a good time on the train instead of keeping to themselves," he says.

He says he didn't do it for any kind of recognition which is why he didn't sign his name and he's encouraging others to consider spreading the same positive messages to those they meet.