Travels in homage to slain journalist

BLAIR ENSOR
Last updated 05:00 21/07/2012
Phillip Cottrell
MURDERED: Phillip Cottrell, the Radio NZ journalist who died after being beaten in Wellington's Boulcott St.
Manuel Robinson
PHIL REID/Dominion Post
ACCUSED: Manuel Robinson is charged with the murder of Phillip Cottrell, a Wellington journalist.

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Slain journalist Phillip Cottrell wanted to visit 100 countries by his 50th birthday - now family and friends have set about fulfilling his dream.

Mr Cottrell had travelled to 73 different countries before he was attacked after finishing his early morning shift at Radio New Zealand.

His battered body was found on Boulcott St on December 10.

The two men accused of his killing are Manuel Renera Robinson, who was 17 at the time, and Nicho Allan Waipuka, who was 19.

Robinson, now 18, was granted bail after he was charged with murder on December 13. A court order prevented publication of Robinson's image until a hearing in the High Court at Wellington yesterday.

Nicho Allan Waipuka, now 20, is also charged with Mr Cottrell's murder.

The trial for both men is due to begin on December 3 in the High Court at Wellington.

A friend of Mr Cottrell's, Sashi Meanger, said a group of Mr Cottrell's close friends got together on June 5 - his birthday - and formed a plan to complete his goal of visiting 100 countries.

Travellers need to spend more than a day in each country. They also need to carry one of five commemorative torchlight keyrings made after Mr Cottrell's death.

Sue Hollows, Mr Cottrell's sister, is one of the people leading the adventure.

"We wanted to do something special," Mr Meanger said.

"It's fulfilling the one thing he did. He worked to travel. He always believed one had to see the world."

So far Mr Cottrell's friends had visited countries like Vanuatu and Slovenia - boosting the total to 85. The remaining 15, which include Japan, Turkey, Greece and Egypt need to be ticked off by June 2018.

"We are going to make it. It's an incredible feeling."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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