Nalinee Giri is being remembered in Kerikeri as a woman who brightened many lives with her vibrant character and generosity of spirit.
Her body was found in a burning car at Wharau Bay, about 10km from Kerikeri, on the evening of April 13. Police say her death was not suspicious, and has been referred to the coroner.
The 56-year-old owned the popular Jaffas Dressing Rooms, which sold clothing, home decor and art from a pink house opposite Countdown on Kerikeri Rd. She also established what she called a "give a little, take a little" movement, stocking a series of fridges outside her store with free food, clothing and books, and encouraging people to donate or take as they needed.
Her family suggested, via a friend's Facebook post, that people who want to share their condolences do so by leaving cards, messages or flowers on the doorstep of Jaffas, and many did so.
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The post was flooded with tributes from friends and customers, including 250 comments and almost 900 reactions as of Wednesday afternoon, while the step outside the shop was covered with a growing number of bouquets, hand-written notes and even a bird's nest, incense and a potted orchid.
Common themes of the Facebook messages were shock and sadness, but also warm memories of chatting at Nalinee's shop, her passion for the business, her eclectic, carefully-chosen range of items, her generosity, sense of style and bubbly, vibrant nature.
Others hoped her "give a little, take a little" initiative could continue, urging people to keep donating fresh produce or pantry foods as well as keeping the fridges clean.
A friend, who now lives in Kaikohe, recalled how the "authentic, creative and giving" Giri was one of the first people who befriended her when she arrived in Kerikeri 15 years ago. Others remembered how the mother of three would insist on giving away items, or sharing "heart to heart" conversations in the colourful, welcoming shop.
A memorial service will be held in Kerikeri at a date yet to be decided.