Story: Street life

'Bucket man'

'Bucket man'

Some homeless people became local identities. For 20 years from 1983 Wellington’s most well-known homeless figure was Robert Jones. Dressed in tattered clothes, and carrying his trademark bucket holding his few possessions, the stooped figure walked a daily circuit through city streets – shown here in 1993. He slept in a crude shelter on  Te Ahumairangi Hill (Tinakori Hill), and died in a nearby gutter in 2003. His death was mourned by thousands whose path he had regularly crossed. Writer Maurice Gee based one of his characters on Jones in his prize-winning novel Blindsight (2005).

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: DOM/1993/1223/1/16

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Street life - Street trade and people, 1915–2008', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/20703/bucket-man (accessed 28 November 2021)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 11 Mar 2010