Friends and loved ones of a 28-year-old man who died in a fire near Kaikoura at the weekend say he was a gentle soul who went with the flow.
Police yesterday named the victim as Adam Toleman, whose burnt out van was discovered in Kiwi Rd, at Mangamauna, north of Kaikoura, by a member of the public on Monday morning.
A group of his friends was among those who gathered at the site yesterday afternoon. It was the sort of warm, sunny day the surfer would enjoy, they said, although the sea was relatively calm as some of his friends threw flowers into the water.
They were there for a ceremony to bless the land where Mr Toleman died. The ceremony was organised by iwi from the nearby Mangamaunu Marae, owner of the land in Kiwa Rd where the van was found.
The group of about 30 people included Mangamaunu Marae members, and police from Kaikoura and Blenheim who had investigated the death. Marae chairman Darran Kerei-Keepa said the ceremony lifted the tapu on the land.
Robyn Cameron, a friend of Mr Toleman's since he moved to Kaikoura about four years ago, said he had many friends in Kaikoura. He had lived in her caravan for almost a year at one stage.
"He was such a warm, gentle soul, never negative about anybody. He would just go with the flow," she said.
“He loved surfing, loved nature, just loved it up at the beach."
Mr Toleman's body was taken to Christchurch on Tuesday for an autopsy.
Police said the fire that caused his death appeared to have been accidental and the autopsy indicated there were no suspicious circumstances.
Detective Inspector Geoff Jago, who headed the inquiry into the fire, said it appeared Mr Toleman had been camping alone in Kiwa Rd for a few days.
He was originally from Britain but had New Zealand residency.
- © Fairfax NZ News