Remuera killing: Slain mum Jo Pert to be farewelled

Jo Pert will be farewelled next week near the town she grew up in: Whanganui. Photo / Supplied
Jo Pert will be farewelled next week near the town she grew up in: Whanganui. Photo / Supplied

Friends and family will farewell Jo Pert, the mother of two killed while out jogging, near the town she grew up in: Whanganui.

A funeral service for the 41-year-old will be held in Raetihi, near Whanganui, on Wednesday afternoon.

Tributes have continued to flow for Ms Pert, whose body was found on a porch of a house in the upmarket Auckland suburb of Remuera last week.

A man thought to be her alleged attacker handed himself in to police. He has name suppression until his next appearance in the High Court at the end of this month. He is not believed to have known Ms Pert.

One of the first people police called to inform about the killing was New Zealand rich-lister Culum Manson, her ex-husband.

Manson, 40, is a director of family business Mansons TCLM - one of New Zealand's biggest construction firms. The TCLM stands for founder Ted and his sons, Culum, Luke and Mac.

Friends told the Herald on Sunday that the family was working on details for the funeral.

The family is one of the country's wealthiest. Last year's NBR Rich List estimated their wealth at $450 million. Mansons TCLM last year announced it was working on three big new Auckland office blocks, worth about $220 million.

It is the second murder investigation to affect the company. In 2010, Mansons' employee Brad Callaghan murdered his ex-partner Carmen Thomas, and police searched one of the company's building sites.

MP Paula Bennett, who had known Ms Pert for 25 years and was a close friend of her and her family, paid tribute to her at the weekend.

"Jo was an absolutely devoted mum and always put her kids first before anything else. She was mother help in their class, involved in their sports and activities and her life revolved around their needs.

"She was a fiercely intelligent and driven woman. Jo was an avid sportswoman. She had a huge love for Robbie Williams, even going back stage at one of his concerts and then being too scared to actually talk to him.

"She was fun loving and she just had a great passion for life. The whole family was so proud of all her achievements."

Ms Bennett said Ms Pert's biggest achievement was her children.

"She was devoted utterly to those two children. She put them before anything else and was so committed to giving them the best possible future. We can't describe our sadness at this time."

Ms Pert's family thanked the police and emergency services and "the family that found Jo".

She was attacked on the street and ran into the front yard of a house to get help. The occupants found her about an hour later, collapsed on the lawn. They called for help but it was too late.

Ms Bennett said Ms Pert had a drive and passion for life.

"The way that woman could study and then raise her kids and be up until two or three in the morning then be up again to be up with them then be off again," she said. "It's just all so shocking."

Ms Pert lived in a central Auckland apartment owned by her mother Janice. Over the weekend family members gathered there to grieve.

Ms Pert's father lives in Taupo but travelled to Auckland on Friday to meet police after learning of his daughter's death the night before.

Both children had been on holiday with him.

Ms Pert grew up in Whanganui and lived in Taupo before settling in Auckland. She travelled the world and spent nine years living in London before having her children.

A close friend told the Herald on Sunday that Pert and Manson were together about two years. They split when she was pregnant.

She was studying towards a Health Science masters degree in traditional Chinese medicine but when she was in London she worked as an accountant.

Police said that the family that lived in the house on Shore Rd, Remuera, where Ms Pert was found saw her out a window just before 11am on Thursday. It was evident she needed medical help and they called 111.

However, it was too late. It later emerged Ms Pert could have been there for an hour or more before she was found.

- NZ Herald

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