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Statement from the family of Diana and Howard Cox

Press Release – New Zealand Police

The following statement has been issued by the children of Howard and Diana Cox, who died tragically in the Carterton hot air balloon accident on 7 January 2012.Statement from the family of Diana and Howard Cox

The following statement has been issued by the children of Howard and Diana Cox, who died tragically in the Carterton hot air balloon accident on 7 January 2012.

The statement can be attributed to Diana’s two children Vin Manhaas and Vidi Chandra and Howard’s two children Jeremy Cox and Sarah Scarlett:
‘Born in Nottingham 1941, to Beryl and William Cox, Howard emigrated to New Zealand aged 34. He quickly fell in love with New Zealand and made it his and his family’s permanent home. Howard was a talented heating engineer and later worked in senior sales and management roles until his retirement. He was passionate about family, food and wine, especially family roast dinners, where he would regale everyone with funny stories and tales.

Born in Westport 1948 to Dick and Madge Hutchings, Diana Cox (nee Hutchings) grew up in Motueka and later moved to Wellington. Diana worked in the corporate arena across many roles. She played an active role in the Wellington Rose Society. As a keen gardener, Diana created a fabulous landscape surrounding their Mornington properties. Always elegant and stylish, Diana was a talented sewer, creating many of her own, her children’s and grandchildren’s clothes. Also a talented cook with her speciality being preserves, chutneys and jams made with fruit from her mothers abundant garden in Motueka.

Howard and Diana married in 1995 and leave beloved children from previous marriages, Jeremy Cox and Sarah Scarlett, Vidi Chandra and Vin Manhaas and adored grandchildren Savarna, Samadhi, Amber, Bailey and Riley.

They enjoyed a wonderful, loving and fun filled life together in Wellington with their constant companion, adored black flat coated retriever Jake (2000 to 2010) and more recently with equally adored Brock.

Howard and Diana were soul mates, their obvious love, respect and adoration of each other was clear from the start.

Together they were company directors of a successful property portfolio and adored landlords to many of their tenants as they often became stand-in parents and were friends to them all. Their attention to detail with their building developments meant they created comfortable, stylish and sought after homes.

Both were also generous contributors to their community, in particular the SPCA, due to their love of animals. They would be seen regularly volunteering on weekends for the SPCA collection fund.
More recently, Howard donated his time as a volunteer driver for both the Mary Potter Hospice Street Appeal and for the Cancer Society to assist other cancer sufferers after beating Prostate Cancer himself in the last 12 months.

Their many friends and family will remember them for their love and wonderful friendship.

They were also fabulous parents and grandparents, always supportive, encouraging and loving and incredibly proud of them all.

Howard and Diana Cox will be forever missed.

All friends and family are invited to celebrate the life of Howard and Diana Cox at Old St Pauls Church, 34 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon, Wellington on Tuesday 24 January at 2.00pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Wellington SPCA would be appreciated. 305 Mansfield St, Newtown, Wellington, Ph: 04 389 8044, Email:

Messages of condolence can be sent to the families tribute page at ‘’.

The family have no further comments at this stage and request no media at the funeral. Thank you in advance, we appreciate your understanding at this time.’


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