Well-meaning solo dad Herman has four great loves in his life – his children Junior and Leilani, his Aunty, rugby and steak and cheese pies. Not always in that order. Herman was studying to become a pastry chef with aspirations to one day start his own business, but when his partner left he put that aside to find a job. Now, as a freelance chauffeur (taxi driver) he fits his work around his kids. Unfortunately Herman has an expensive blind spot. He can’t say no. Salespeople have taken advantage of him in the past, convincing him to buy things he doesn’t really need. He needs help to think through his financial decisions, and that’s where Aunty comes in.
Favourite colour: Sky blue Favourite food: Steak and cheese pie Favourite movie: Anchorman
With a 35-year career as one of Manukau’s sharpest legal operators, Aunty is an intellectual force to be reckoned with. Armed with a quick wit and passion for consumer rights, she continues to put her experience to good use by volunteering at the local community law centre. When it’s raining, that is. After Herman’s partner left him with the kids, Aunty showed her softer side by moving in to help out while he finds his feet again. Aside from her family Aunty’s greatest love in life is musicals, and it was after watching Sweeney Todd that she developed an insatiable crush on Johnny Depp.
Favourite colour: Magenta Favourite food: Kingfish sashimi Favourite movie: Sound of Music
Of all his achievements, benching 180kg in his local Mangere gym would have once rated as Marcus’ finest. But that was a year ago, when life was all about winning. Aggressively. These days, Marcus prefers yoga and pilates to keep him in peak condition, and his softer outlook has helped him eradicate the hard sell from his repertoire as a money lender. Where in the past any business was good business, he now wants to do the right thing by his clients and make sure they think through their decisions.
Favourite colour: Ruby red Favourite food: Rotisserie chicken Favourite movie: Rocky II
Chip runs a repossession agency, and loves it. He should have retired 7 years ago, but he takes pride in his gentle approach to confiscating other people’s property. Without him, he fears the job would only be filled by a rougher crowd. Married for 50 years, with three kids and 10 grandchildren, he barely gets the time to partake in his favourite pastime – chasing flounder in the mudflats. But at his age, it’s getting harder to catch them anyway.
Favourite colour: Yellow Favourite food: His wife’s Mac’n Cheese Favourite movie: Gone with the Wind
Born and bred in the Tron, Charmaine was crowned Waikato’s youngest ever ‘Nail Technician Apprentice of the Year’ at only 17 years old. The prestigious award catapulted her to industry fame and even an appearance on morning TV. A move to Auckland followed where she now runs her own highly successful salon specialising in emoji nail art. When not working, Charmaine loves nothing more than singing Kylie Minogue at the local Korean karaoke restaurant with the girls.
Favourite colour: Lime Favourite food: Chilli prawns Favourite movie: The Last Boy Scout
Graham grew up on a diet of Bruce Lee and dreamed of one day being able to master the one-inch punch. He never did. But he did master the original Sega Mega Drive, with his love of gaming and all things electronic blossoming from there. He now has his dream job managing a local electronics store, giving him first dibs on any new gadget that tickles his fancy.
Favour colour: Red Favourite food: His mother’s pork, prawn and chives dim sum Favourite movie: Fist of Fury
The identical twin brother to Marcus, Leon likes to joke how their own mother can’t tell them apart. To help avoid confusion, the two have agreed to a clothing colour palette whereby Marcus has rights to dark suits. Leon, in turn, wears the lighter and brighter attire, which he considers works in his favour of making a positive impression when delivering his sales pitches door-to-door. It’s a job that requires all of his considerable charm, but as a Tony Robbins admirer he is not short on self-belief.
Having moved to New Zealand from Luton as a young child, Debbie recalls very little of her roots other than spending countless hours in smoke-filled pubs playing with make-up. Not a lot has changed. Though she does like to keep busy and loves social interaction, which is why she has two jobs. By day, she runs a truck shop selling everything from mobile phones to children’s toys. By night, she’s the resident quiz master at pubs all over town.
Favourite colour: Black Favourite food: Chips and gravy Favourite movie: Reservoir Dogs