‘Fam­ily was ev­ery­thing to Zoe’– mum


could starve the hives be­cause there was not enough pollen and nec­tar to go around. That meant less money for the bee­keep­ers.

Another bay api­arist Peter Beere said dis­eases could also spread more eas­ily by over­stock­ing hives.

‘‘The more hives there are in a given lo­ca­tion close to­gether, the higher the risk of dis­eases be­ing spread.

‘‘It’s worse, of course, if bee­keep­ers don’t have the skills to recog­nise dis­ease or man­age their hives.’’

As­sure Qual­ity api­cul­tural of­fi­cer Bryon Tay­lor said these is­sues were ‘‘not new’’ and had been con­cern­ing many bee­keep­ers in the North Is­land for some time.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately, there is noth­ing in the cur­rent leg­is­la­tion that pre­vents any of this be­hav­iour,’’ he said.

Api­cul­ture New Zealand (Apinz) chief ex­ec­u­tive Karin Kos said she was sym­pa­thetic to the is­sues raised.

Hives had grown from 300,000 in 2007 to over 800,000 to­day and the num­ber of bee­keep­ers has dou­bled to 8000 in five years.

‘‘So within that en­vi­ron­ment, there are some grow­ing pains – it is a more com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try and business and that can mean more ten­sion with peo­ple com­pet­ing for land re­sources.’’

She said it was im­por­tant bee­keep­ers main­tained strong re­la­tion­ships with their landown­ers, and kept in reg­u­lar con­tact with them.

It had de­vel­oped Landowner/ Bee­keeper Land Use agree­ments to sup­port for­mal con­trac­tual re­la­tion­ships.

‘‘While it’s only vol­un­tary, it is a good start­ing point,’’ she said. Zoe Bishop was look­ing for­ward to her first over­seas trip when her life was trag­i­cally cut short on her favourite stretch of road.

Her mum, Josie Bishop said her 22-year-old daugh­ter was a gen­tle, kind-hearted per­son whose smile lit up the room.

‘‘Ev­ery­body liked her, she was just so easy to like.

‘‘Fam­ily was ev­ery­thing to Zoe, she couldn’t wait to have a fam­ily and kids of her own.’’

Zoe had moved back to Motueka from Christchurch nine months be­fore the ac­ci­dent and was work­ing as a re­cep­tion­ist at the Ho­tel Grand Mer­cure in Monaco, Nelson.

An avid All Blacks and Cru­saders fan, she loved the beach and spend­ing time with her friends and fam­ily. She called Motueka home and the Coastal High­way lead­ing into the town was her favourite piece of road to travel on.

The for­mer tourism stu­dent had planned a trip to Sin­ga­pore and Thai­land with her fam­ily, when her life was cut short by a driver high on metham­phetamine and cannabis.

For­bid­den driver Jonathon El­lis, 26, was driv­ing to­wards Motueka on the Coastal High­way when he over cor­rected and veered into the path of Zoe’s car.

She was heading to the air­port to pick up her twin sis­ter Jas­mine on the morn­ing of the ac­ci­dent, ex­cited at the prospect of spend­ing the week­end with her fam­ily.

Zoe wasn’t at­tend­ing a wed­ding as pre­vi­ously re­ported in court doc­u­ments, but the Bish­ops were gath­er­ing to plan the wed­ding of a close fam­ily mem­ber.

Af­ter the ac­ci­dent, those wed­ding plans were put on hold.

Josie said the day her daugh­ter was killed con­tin­u­ously played on her mind. She won­dered how things could have been dif­fer­ent. If she hadn’t been late leav­ing her home in Ran­giora for Nelson be­cause her alarm didn’t go off, they might have trav­elled to the air­port to­gether.

If Jas­mine’s flight from Welling­ton hadn’t been de­layed, Zoe would have been on the road at a dif­fer­ent time.

The last time she spoke to Zoe was from a cafe in Cul­ver­den.

‘‘I said; ‘I won’t talk now, we’ll be there soon’.’’

When Josie ar­rived at her par­ents house in Motueka, her fa­ther said Zoe was miss­ing. They were con­cerned she hadn’t been at the air­port to meet Jas­mine.

‘‘That’s when we re­ally started to panic.’’

They were aware of the ac­ci­dent on the high­way, so Josie phoned the po­lice to see if she could find out the make of the cars in­volved but they were un­able to tell her. Not long af­ter, a po­lice car pulled into their drive­way and she knew it wasn’t good news.

‘‘We kept think­ing, she is strong, she is stub­born, she will get through this.’’

Josie said iden­ti­fy­ing Zoe’s body was the hardest thing she had ever done. It was some­thing no par­ent should ever have to do.

‘‘I just keep think­ing it should have been me.’’

An au­topsy re­vealed that the im­pact of the ac­ci­dent broke Zoe’s neck. The fam­ily were told it was likely she wouldn’t have seen it com­ing.

The ac­ci­dent had a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on the fam­ily and she was still strug­gling to hold it to­gether.

‘‘I’ve learnt how to hide from peo­ple ... I go through things with a face on.’’

She finds it dif­fi­cult to lis­ten to mu­sic, there are places she can’t visit be­cause the mem­o­ries are too painful. Re­turn­ing to Nelson was also dif­fi­cult. She would think of the last time she spoke to Zoe, where they would have been on the road when she died.

‘‘Driv­ing home was fun but I find it so hard to drive up here now, it’s al­most haunt­ing.’’

Josie said she strug­gled to sleep at night. Zoe’s sib­lings Jas­mine and Vaughan were also strug­gling.

‘‘I never knew emo­tional pain could be so phys­i­cal. It hurts and you can’t breathe.’’

She was very close to her daugh­ter, they both loved rugby, and Josie was glad they had trav­elled to Auck­land to­gether for the Rugby World Cup fi­nal in 2011.

The fam­ily were liv­ing in Christchurch when the earth­quakes hap­pened and Josie said she pushed for Zoe to re­turn to Motueka, which she had al­ways con­sid­ered home.

Zoe went to Lower Moutere School and Motueka High School be­fore fin­ish­ing her ed­u­ca­tion at Ran­giora High School.

‘‘She was such a good per­son, it was such a waste.’’

Josie said she wanted to speak about Zoe’s death to give her a voice. She was an­gry at El­lis and the jus­tice sys­tem and she felt the fam­ily hadn’t had the chance to be heard.

‘‘If you get in a car on drugs or drink drive then it’s as bad as load­ing a gun. Noth­ing will bring Zoe back but we have to do some­thing about this pain.’’

El­lis will be sen­tenced in the Nelson District Court on De­cem­ber 21.


Firms ea­ger to cash in on the manuka honey gold rush are ag­gres­sively com­pet­ing with lo­cals for sites.

Zoe Bishop

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