My name is Muriaroha Paekau-Richards


"To be surrounded by our whānau, our tamariki.
To know that they're here with me, it means everything."

A tear in the fabric of time. For Muri, it all started in September of 2021. As New Zealand was grappling with its longest lockdown to date, Muri was experiencing headaches and found she had a cough that just wouldn’t go away. Not thinking too much of it, she visited her doctor. It was what came back that turned Muri’s world upside down.

She was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer, of which there were four different mutations of, one of which was untreatable across the brain. She had a prognosis of three months to live without treatment and nine months with. “It was a lot… in a very short space of time” explained Muri.

If we take a 180 degree turn and look back on Muri’s life prior to her diagnosis we would see a kaleidoscopic collection of rich experiences, keen exploration, and deep connections. Muri’s creativity and curiosity of the world was innate. She had studied art and design at the Unitec School of Design, culminating in her completing her final year at South Seas studying documentary directing and researching. Wellington’s film industry called and Muri was there to pick up, working for a variety of productions in the area. She extended her work in the creative industries with stints jetting up to Auckland to work on New Zealand Fashion Week.

Within Muri was a strong desire to explore the globe, so with that, she set out to discover both the world and herself. She found both in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, where (after learning herself) she took visiting groups diving. Once upon dry land, she headed to some of the prestigious country clubs in Florida with her authentic and down-to-earth New Zealand nature proving popular with the ultra-wealthy.

After five years in and out of the water, Muri felt the need to return home. In her time away, she had lost four people significant to her and it was time to return to her homeland. Arriving back in 2014, she decided on a whim, to take up a seasonal role at a lodge down in Franz Joseph. It was just a 6-week stint, but it turned into a 2 year stay and for very good reasons. Muri had fallen in love with Nick, who was going to become her husband. Fast forward 8 years in this love story and Muri and Nick had just finished building their dream house down south in the ruggedly beautiful Haast, on the West Coast. With striking views out to the Bay Islands and the stunning alps as their backdrop; this was going to be their forever home.