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).
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
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.