'Bob' wants to stay with his new Samoan family

'BOB': Chunji Gao is happy with his new family.
'BOB': Chunji Gao is happy with his new family.

The Chinese teenager who left home and found refuge with a Polynesian family who call him "Bob" wants to keep living in his new home.

Police launched a search in South Auckland for Chunji Gao after he was not seen for nearly three weeks after leaving his home in suburban Botany Downs on April 16.

He slept rough in a park for three nights before being befriended by Roy Kainano, a teenager from Otara.

Roy took him home to his family, who have looked after him since – even celebrating his 17th birthday yesterday.

Roy told Campbell Live he wanted to help the teenager, who introduced himself as "Bob".

"I felt sorry for him. He was tired, he was hungry."

He had some reservations about taking him back to his family. "I wasn't really confident about bringing him because he's not Samoan."

However, his mother, Faleto'a, who already has seven sons, welcomed him into her family.

"This is my beloved son Bob," she told Campbell Live. "I love him just the same as my boys."

He was not so keen on Samoan food, but she had been cooking him lots of rice, she said.

When Bob, who is also known as Gary, was asked if he wanted to continue living with the family, he nodded his head. Ms Kainano said he spoke little English.

Police are looking into why he does not want to go home to his father. Before he was found, they had growing fears for his safety because he spoke such limited English and took no clothing, possessions or his wallet.

The Kainano family was not aware he was missing when they took him in.

The Dominion Post