Family of slain New Zealand tourist Nick Heyward have spoken of the
“hole in their hearts” a year after his death in South America. A year after Nick Heyward was shot in Argentina his family still wait for justice.
marks the one-year anniversary of the 31-year-old’s death in Mendoza,
Argentina, after two men on a motorbike allegedly attempted to steal his
backpack and shot him four times in broad daylight.
aged 34 and 20, have been charged with murder. And as they await trial
later this year, Nick’s father, Ben Heyward, said the past year had been
“It’s a hard week, and a strange week. There
remains a big, black hole in all of our hearts. We are all still deeply
grieving,” Heyward told the Herald on Sunday from Papua New Guinea, where he is doing community work.
now and again someone will ask you a question, or a picture of his face
will pop up somewhere, and it stops me in my tracks. Before I know it,
my mind goes off and I’m thinking about Nick, and I realise he’s not
“I made this big plan for our future, expecting him to get married soon and [have a family]. I feel cheated. Where’s my Nick?”
Nick’s brother, Stefan, who will hold a memorial evening for friends
and family at his Australian home next week, the situation is just as
“It’s been a hard year. It’s hard to come home when Nick
isn’t here and you know you’re not going to share any good times ever
again,” he said from Queensland. “What I do have to hold on to are the
memories of our childhood together, running around, playing sport. They
were some of the best times of my life.”
The Heyward family remains hopeful that those responsible for Nick’s death will be held to account.
Heyward said there was “a desire to see justice done”. But Stefan said
it was unlikely the family would travel to Argentina for the trial.
all expect our children to bury us. In the end, you have to live with
the fact that it’s happened, that’s the way of the world,” Ben said.
I will always remember a mature cheekiness in Nick, ever since he was a
little boy, and his relationship with his grandfather. We all saw a
special spark between Nick and his mum’s father. The similarities
between them — from their looks to their humour — were clear very early.
a wonderful old family photograph of us all gathered in New Zealand,
with Nick parked on the arm of his grandfather’s chair, smack-bang in
the middle of the picture — which is exactly his rightful place.”