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Bruce (56) had been homeless but was welcomed by the Birkenhead Baptist Church where he had parked his bright blue van over the winter of 2015 and lived with his dog "Bud". By the following winter, with the help of media, he was finally allocated a Housing New Zealand property in Bayview, not far from his five children. In the final weeks of his life his eldest daughter cared for him while he battled with stage four emphysema and a recent stroke.

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