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Paul Henry’s spectacular tribute to his late mother Olive

'She loved travel and in her final years talked about going on a cruise, but she'd left it too late.'

Eighteen months have passed since former broadcaster Paul Henry bid farewell to his eponymous radio and television show, and embarked on early retirement. It was an emotional week for Paul, who tragically said goodbye to his beloved mother just three days before his last show.

The pair were incredibly close – Olive was a gorgeous spirited woman with an adventurous streak (she famously did a jump from Auckland’s Sky Tower to celebrate her 79th birthday) and she shared a wonderful, unique bond with her only son.

So, when Paul explained that to the Weekly that he was planning on doing something to celebrate Olive in his retirement, we knew it wasn’t likely to be your run-of-the-mill tribute.

And, we certainly weren’t wrong – it’s a spectacular tribute.

As Paul explains, exclusively in this week’s issue of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, he is currently cruising the Mediterranean on an 80ft boat that he commissioned to be built in honour of his late mother. The boat is named Olive, and it serves as her final resting place, as her ashes are on-board, built into the boat.

“Mum and me were a team, and we spent many, many years on our own together,” Paul tells the Weekly. “She was my biggest cheerleader and lived her life for me. She loved travel and in her final years talked about going on a cruise, but she’d left it too late. She was too frail.”

Now, Paul is ensuring that her dream is being realised. He launched the boat with his daughter Bella in the Netherlands on May 7 – what would have been Olive’s 88th birthday – and plans to spend the next few years on the boat, taking her around the world.

For the full story – including the truth about his retirement from TV – plus all the stunning photos from his one-of-a-kind boat, be sure to grab this week’s copy of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, out now.

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