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Search finds young journal writer

Wednesday 31 May 2017 | Published in Local


Search finds young journal writer
Cook Islands Air New Zealand manager Marisa Newman was the driving force behind the search that reunited the young traveller and her travel journal. 17053014

Air New Zealand staff are delighted at the outcome of their efforts to reunite a young traveller and her travel journal, which she left on board an Air New Zealand aircraft at Rarotonga International Airport two weeks ago.

The jet arrived on Friday 19 and the search for the journal owner started the following Monday. As reported in CI News yesterday, it was initiated by Air New Zealand country manager Marisa Newman.

Newman, a mother of three, said an entry in the travel journal had resonated with her.

“I just thought, it’s a little person, and it is the first time they have ever travelled and you could just sense the excitement from reading that one short entry.

“I had a feeling that the family was a really giving family.

“So for people to go out of their way to find the writer, like this community has, is truly very lovely.”

After 10 days of searching for the young traveller, and with the help of local resorts, immigration officials and Air New Zealand employees in New Zealand and Rarotonga, those involved were happy to discover the journal belonged to a 13-year-old Napier girl named Acacia.

Travelling with her grandmother Lilian, and her mother Jasanne, Acacia was understandably excited about her first trip abroad and had been given the journal especially to document her much-anticipated five-day holiday on Rarotonga.

Acacia’s hard-working grandmother and mother both work night shifts and the holiday was an exciting, well-deserved trip for the trio.

The family returned to New Zealand on May 24, but Newman and her kind-hearted colleagues, have decided to send the journal back to its owner.

The Air New Zealand staff invite anyone who followed the heart-warming search for the young traveller to contact Newman or the Air New Zealand office on 71321.

“We would love it if those who were following our search, left a message in the journal, or a photo or even a voucher.

“The community really got on board with the search for Acacia, so it only makes sense that she receives the journal and understands that a whole community had her in their thoughts.

“From the journal people could tell how excited she was for her first trip abroad.

We (Air New Zealand) just wanted her to have the best possible time in our little slice of paradise,” said Newman.