Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

British family want help to scatter mother's ashes in land she loved

Olive Chesworth "adored" New Zealand. Photo / Supplied
Olive Chesworth "adored" New Zealand. Photo / Supplied

The family of an Englishwoman who "adored" New Zealand and Maori culture, and who spent six months every two years Downunder, is seeking help to spread her ashes here.

Liverpool grandmother Olive Chesworth fell in love with the country after a visit with her son Lee in 1991. After that, she saved and her family gave her cash at Christmas and birthdays, so that she could come back every second year for six months staying with friends. She mainly stayed in the South Island, and travelled extensively around Queenstown and the Central Otago region.

"Mum would spend six months with people she met, and would come back over to see other people she met," said her 49-year-old son Lee Chesworth. "She absolutely loved New Zealand."

She stayed on farms where she would "roll up her sleeves and get stuck in". She was fascinated by Maori culture and people. When shearing gangs came to the farm, she ate with the workers and quizzed them about their tattoos.

Olive died last month, aged 74, and will be cremated next week.

Father-of-two Lee now wants to send some of her ashes to New Zealand to be scattered in the land she so loved. But he is asking for a New Zealand family, "or even some ex-Scousers", to send the ashes to and perform the scattering duties.

Lee has checked that there are no Customs, health, or agriculture restrictions for bringing or sending human ashes to New Zealand.

"We recommend they are accompanied by a copy of either the death certificate or the cremation certificate," Customs said. "It is also advisable to check with the carrier if they are able to transport them."

Lee just needs someone to send the ashes to.

"I'd love to put a little bit of mum over in New Zealand so when the kids are older, they can go and visit a little bit of grandma while they are there."

Anyone wanting to help the Chesworth family can contact kurt.bayer@nzme.co.nz and their details will be passed on.

- NZ Herald

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