A Dutch couple coming to New Zealand to visit their Taupo-based daughter on a "trip of a lifetime" were among those killed on MH17.
Hendrik-Jan "Henk" Tournier and his wife Ineke Westerveld planned to spend six weeks with Tournier's daughter Nanda Bright, and her two sons.
Gallery: The faces behind the tragedy of flight MH17
Image 1 of 41 Mary Menke, New Zealander confirmed as being on the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. Photo / supplied Image 2 of 41 Three confirmed passengers onboard MH17. Malaysian actress, Shuba Jaya, was returning to Malaysia with her husband, Paul Goes, and their 2-year-old-da Image 3 of 41 Widi Yuwono, the brother of Yuli Hastini, holds a photograph of his sister's family, Hastini, right, John Paulissen, left, and their two children, Arj Image 4 of 41 Robert Ayley , New Zealander confirmed as being onboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. Photo / supplied Image 5 of 41 Bryce Fredriksz and Daisy Oehlers of The Netherlands. Photo / via Facebook Image 6 of 41 Widi Yuliono a relative of John Paulisen, shows photographs of John Paulisen (Top-L), Yuli Hastini (Top-R), Arjuna Martin Paulisen (L) and Sri Paulise Image 7 of 41 Jennifer Van Der Leij of The Netherlands. Photo / via Facebook Image 8 of 41 Muhammad Afif, Mohd Afruz , Marsha Azmeena , Tambi Jiee , Ariza Ghazalee, Muhammad Afzal. Photo / via Facebook Image 9 of 41 Ariza Ghazalee and Tambi Jiee seen on top of Table Mountain in a photo posted to Facebook. Image 10 of 41 Karlijn Keijzer, 25, a doctoral student at Indiana University where she was on the rowing team. Photo / supplied Image 11 of 41 Henk Tournier (R) with his wife Ineke Westerveld. Photo / supplied Image 12 of 41 Robert Ayley and his wife Sharlene. Ayley is confirmed as being onboard the doomed Malaysian Airlies Flight MH17. Photo / supplied Image 13 of 41 Dutch-American student Quinn Lucas Schansman, 19. Photo / via Facebook Image 14 of 41 Canadian man Andrei Anghel, 24. Photo / via LinkedIn Image 15 of 41 Dublin born Edel Mahady, a mother of two living in Perth, Australia. Photo / supplied Image 16 of 41 Ben Pocock, 20, of Keynsham near Bristol. Photo / via Facebook Image 17 of 41 Leicster man Richard Mayne, 20. Photo / via Facebook Image 18 of 41 Newcastle United fan John Alder. Photo / supplied Image 19 of 41 Newcastle United fan Liam Sweeney, confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17. Photo / via Facebook Image 20 of 41 Cameron Dalziel, confirmed as being onboard doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, seen here with his wife Reine and son Sheldon. Photo / via Twitter Image 21 of 41 Fatima Dyczynski, 24, CEO and Director of Xoterra Space. Photo / supplied Image 22 of 41 Sister Philomene Tiernan (left) with Kincoppal-Rose Bay Principal Hilary Johnston-Croke . Tiernan has been confirmed as being onboard the doomed Malay Image 23 of 41 Mohamad Ghafar Abu Bakar, the chief air steward onboard the doomed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 . Pictured here with his mother 74 yeard Maimon Sarp Image 24 of 41 Ng Shi Ing, a 33 year old Malaysian Edinburgh University graduate. Photo / supplied Image 25 of 41 Valentijn and Emma Essers, confirmed as passengers onboard MH17. Photo / supplied Image 26 of 41 Passport of Dutch woman Jolette Nuesink , found by a local in Eastern Ukraine after the destruction of MH17. Photo / via Twitter Image 27 of 41 Albert and Maree Rizk, of Sunbury, Victoria. Photo / supplied Image 28 of 41 Francesca (Frankie) and her husband Liam Davison who are understood to have been on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Photo / supplied Image 29 of 41 Elaine Teoh, a student at Melbourne University. Photo / via Facebook Image 30 of 41 Perth man Nick Norris who perished along with his grandchildren on Malaysia Airlines MH17. Photo / supplied Image 31 of 41 Child victims of MH17 Mo Maslin, 12, (left), his brother Otis, eight, (centre) and sister Evie Maslin, 10, (right) were killed on the flight along wit Image 32 of 41 Queensland Pathologist Dr Roger Guard. Photo / supplied Image 33 of 41 Cor Pan who is among the victims of the MH17 Malaysia airlines crash. Photo / supplied Image 34 of 41 Dr Jill Guard pictured in Auckland on 3rd July 2014. Guard is believed to have died when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukrai Image 35 of 41 Malaysia Airlines Stewardess Angeline Premila pictured in Auckland on 3rd July 2014. Photo / supplied. Image 36 of 41 Malaysia Airlines MH17 Steward Sanjid Singh. Photo / supplied Image 37 of 41 Malaysia Airlines stewardess Azrina Yakob. Photo / supplied Image 38 of 41 Leading researcher into the HIV virus Joep Lange, Professor of Medicine, Head of the Department of Global Health, at the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) Image 39 of 41 Elaine Teoh, 27, a Melbourne University student is confirmed to have been on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. Photo / supplied Image 40 of 41 Albert Rizk from Melbourne was with his wife Maree on the flight. Photo / supplied Image 41 of 41 Angeline Premila. Photo / via Facebook
Bright, who works as a teacher aide at Marotiri School, and her Kiwi builder husband Regan Bright had returned here in the last year after living in the Netherlands for almost 20 years.
Regan Bright said they were not ready to comment when contacted yesterday.
His father Steve Bright said his wife had gone to console his son and daughter-in-law. "They're obviously devastated."
She had been in contact with her sister and other family members in the Netherlands, he said.
"They were going to stay with Regan and Nanda for a good amount of time. That was their reason for coming of course, but also see the rest of New Zealand.
Henk Tournier and his wife Ineke Westerveld.
Expat Dutch journalist Martine Rolls-Pierhagen said she had known the couple for almost 15 years.
"She of course is going through a very difficult time.
"They were looking forward to nana and pop coming over [and] seeing the children.
"It's a big trip, and for a lot of Dutch people that come here it's a trip of a lifetime. It's just a really sad time for everyone."
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Meanwhile, 29-year-old Otaki man Robert Ayley was running late for MH17. He emailed wife Sharlene back at home to tell her he'd missed the bus to Amsterdam Airport. Somehow, he still made it.
"We'd desperately hoped he'd missed it," his mother Wendie Ayley told the Herald on Sunday at her home in Tawa yesterday.
"We thought he'll be sitting in Amsterdam Airport thinking 'how do I ask them for more money for another flight home?'
"We emailed him and said, 'It's ok we will pay for another flight, your flight got shot down'. But he was on it."
Ayley's wife Sharlene and his two sons, Seth, 4, and Taylor, 2, have been staying with his parents Wendie and John and younger brother Tom, 26, since hearing news of the tragedy.
Wendie contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday, who confirmed her son was on the downed plane.
"She's very, very sad. Rob was her life. Sharlene says they changed their lives together. They were on some slippery slopes when they met," said Wendie.
The two little boys are still too young to understand. They are still waiting for their dad to come home.
"Truly, the most important thing in his life was Sharlene and the boys. Everything that he was doing was to give them a future," said Wendie.
"He was a great dad. Because of the Aspergers he was an adult child. He loved rolling around on the floor with his boys."
Ayley - a British citizen who'd lived here since he was two - was studying chemical engineering at Massey University.
It was a big step for the "fun-loving" father who had traded in his boy racer wheels for a red station wagon - his "family man car" - when he married Sharlene.
He left school at 16 and had worked minimum wage jobs ever since, first at McDonald's, as a horticulturalist and a "sort of" cheese-maker at Kapiti Cheeses.
He decided to get an education for his family.
Ayley also loved rottweiler dogs and was travelling to see some. The inspiration to breed the dogs with a pure blood line and good temperament came from his first rottweiler Madison who he'd had since she was a puppy. She now sits docilely at Wendie's feet at the Tawa home.
Robert Ayley bred Rottweiler dogs.
Although Ayley had been gone for more than a month he sent many long emails to his mother saying he was "having a ball". His last email came just hours before he boarded his plane home.
"Right now, I'm just looking forward to seeing the boys and Sharlene. It's been a long, long journey.
"I hope all is well, if we don't talk before hand, I will see you on Saturday. Lots of Love. Rob."
Wendie doesn't harbour any anger toward Malaysia Airlines or those responsible for shooting the missile that killed her son.
"It was a random act. It was one missile. I don't think they targeted that plane specially.
"My boy died in the sky. It's a beautiful place to die. Way up high, happy that he was coming home."