Today we launch the first of a six-part series celebrating special Waikato people, culminating on Tuesday when we announce the person we reckon qualifies as fWaikato Times Person Of The Year. Our nominees share traits we think are worth applauding. All have changed the world around them. Each personifies the Waikato spirit: independence, loyalty, determination, enterprise and fortitude. - Jonathan MacKenzie, Editor
Two young women, on their way home from church late on a Sunday night, reminded us what it means to be a good citizen and showed us that good things happen when we choose to get involved.
Hailey Maddren, 18, and Melissa Bromley, 22, were driving through Ngaruawahia about 10.30pm on November 25 when they noticed what appeared to be two men fighting on the roadside.
They were nearly run over by a truck as the struggle went on outside the Delta Tavern.
"We just pulled over and realised it was a guy and his partner," Ms Maddren said.
"We yelled at him saying, ‘what are you doing' then walked over. He kind of stopped as we said it."
The pair stepped between the man and woman and started moving back with the woman behind them.
The situation settled down but they followed the pair into Durham St where the man was standing above the woman who was crumpled on the ground. He was holding her hair and kicking her in the head.
The pair intervened again and the man was ultimately arrested and the woman saved from further injury.
In doing so, they behaved as we'd like to think we all would - but probably many wouldn't.
They were recognised for the bravery by police and have now been recognised as finalists for the Waikato Times person of the year.
"That's wonderful," Ms Maddren said.
The pair didn't stop to think they could themselves wind up being assaulted and Ms Maddren said they would have no hesitation doing it again.
"We thought about it later though, but in the moment we just did it. You've got to help people when people need help," she said.
Ms Bromley said their only thought was ensuring the victim was all right.
"What else do you do? I was surprised how many people just drove past and didn't do anything."
At the time, Senior Sergeant Rupert Friend, of Huntly police, said there was no doubt that the women's actions prevented the victim suffering serious injury.
On average 14 women, six men and 10 children are killed each year by a family member. Friend said police were called to about 200 domestic violence incidents each day. "It's only through members of the public stepping up to the mark, like these two women did, that the message domestic violence is not OK will get through."