3.9k Share this

A man known as ‘Little John’ who has lived in a cave in Otago, on New Zealand’s South Island, for the past decade has seen his father for the first time in 25 years.

The story of the 57-year-old’s lifestyle, which included him performing dentistry on himself and not collecting any benefit to survive, was also read by members of his estranged family, including his Australia-based sister.

Little John points to his home – a cave near Outram – as he prepares to meet his father for the first time in 25 years. (Stuff)

“It feels like a weight has been lifted, no longer fearing the worst and wondering where he was,” she said.

It also led to his Dunedin-based father contacting a local foodbank to track him down.

Longtime supporter Michelle Kerr, of the Mosgiel Community Foodbank, said it was “a huge step for him”.

Little John said he knew his father’s address, but had not visited his home since he returned south to live.

After not seeing each other for 25 years, father and son were reunited on Wednesday.

Little John’s father, who Stuff has agreed not to name, said it was a great experience.

The pair spent time together, shared a meal, and Little John was able to talk to his sister in Australia.

Little John meets his father for the first time in 25 years. (Stuff)

His father also told him his mother died in 2019.

The pair planned to catch up again, he said.

Little John said there were no ”major dust-ups” between family members, but their separation came after the death of his brother which ”was just so hard on the family”.

After the collapse of a relationship and battle with addictions, Little John moved to the cave to dry out.

And there he stayed for much of the past decade.

It was in that cave, several kilometres from the nearest human structure, where he found peace with God, he said.

”I have been closer with my fellow Christians than I could ever be with my own family.”

The man known as ‘Little John’ at his cave near Outram, south of Dunedin. (Stuff)

Little John said life had been ”really good” since his story was published.

It had helped break down some barriers with local residents, including some previously reticent motorists who now picked him up when he was hitchhiking.

A few weeks ago four young people went looking for him but initially failed to find his cave which was located off the beaten track.

”I heard someone yelling out ‘Little John’, and I replied ‘G’day’.”

Local children were also fascinated with his story, but Little John advised them there were better life choices for them.

And while he had offers from aspiring ‘cave women’, there were ”not as many” as he would have liked.

He plans to spend the cold Otago months in the cave because he liked the winters there, he said.

Little John at a secluded spot in Outram. (Stuff)

”For me it’s natural, and natural is healthy.”

Nor did he plan to claim the unemployment benefit, or eventually the pension.

The problem with claiming a benefit was that it would give him access to his addictions, he said.

”Booze and smokes … they have always been a problem, always will be.”

Now he smoked and drank at a much lower level ”basically because I can’t afford it”.

”For me, it was a really big step, go off the dole and close your bank account.

”This was a really powerful step to take … giving up on the Government support.”

He previously told Stuff he relied on about $500 a year from doing odd jobs and utilised the local food bank for supplies.

”I live in a cave because it is free … and nobody bugs me there.”

This story originally appeared on Stuff and has been reproduced with permission.

Source: 9News

3.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Fatalities confirmed in Texas school shooting; Albanese calls on China to lift trade ban; hundreds of bodies found in Ukraine basement

Fifteen people have been confirmed dead at a school shooting in Texas.…

‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ Too Easy to Get

While covering the heinous attack on Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas,…

There simply has to be change! HAS TO BE!!’ LeBron James leads celebrity anger following Uvalde

LeBron James led the calls for action following the deaths of 14…

RMT votes for summer of rail strike hell: Biggest walkout in decades is on the cards

Railway workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a bitter dispute over…

Slater and Gordon announces class action investigation into Victoria’s triple-zero authority, ESTA

A Melbourne law firm is launching a class action investigation into what…

How much did things cost in 1952, the year of the Queen’s Coronation?

As the nation gears up to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Money…

Active shooter on the loose at Texas elementary school as campus is plunged into lockdown

BREAKING NEWS: At least one person shot at Texas elementary school and…

Conspiracy theories swirl in China that monkeypox was deliberately leaked by the US

Chinese social media users are saying the US could be the source…