Tent fire victim 'loved simple life'

Last updated 14:20 06/12/2013

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The man who died in a Marton tent fire loved the simple life and planned to grow vegetables over the summer. 

His body was found by the owner of a property on Hawkestone Road in Marton who alerted police at around 9.30am yesterday.

The man was living in a tent on a lifestyle block owned by Max Varney. 

He had been living with Mr Varney and his family for about eight weeks after they met through mutual friends. 

After moving up from the South Island, he was living in the tent on one of the paddocks and had been working on a vegetable garden. 

''He knew what he was doing,'' Mr Varney said.

''He had lots of good plans for things he was going to do.

''He's a really good guy with a big heart, just wanting to live a simple life away from consumerism.

Mr Varney discovered his body when he went to check on him in the morning. 

He said it was a shock but was trying to be philosophical about it.

''It's not the kind of thing you want,'' he said. 

''That's life... enjoy everyday because you don't know.'' 

Mr Varney said he and his family were coping as well as could be expected and were trying to carry on. 

''The farm still goes on, a bit of normality is good.''

Mr Varney, who lives on the Hawkestone Rd property with his partner and children, said he planned to keep the garden going in his honour. 

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- Manawatu Standard

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