A Picton woman's message in a bottle has finally been picked up - 21 years later and around 800km away in the Chatham Islands.
Carried by the sea and helped by a tropical cyclone, the Sprite bottle with a Coca Cola lid was thrown into the ocean on March 7, 1995, by eight-year-old Courtney Stevenson.
It washed ashore on the Chatham Islands at the weekend, picked up by resident Richard Goomes who spotted it while out for a walk with his dog.
"I was beach combing with my dog, taking my dog for a walk somewhere I don't usually walk. I was up in the sand grass area where Cyclone Pam had dumped a lot of rubbish and sitting there was a bottle - a 330ml plastic Sprite bottle with a Coke lid on it," he told Newshub.
"I looked at it [and said] 'oh, there's a piece of paper in there'. I always wanted to find a letter in a bottle and I found one. I was quite rapt with my find, actually."
He said the bottle looked as if it had been "sitting in the sun for a while".
But it would be hours before Mr Goomes would be able to open the bottle, needing a knife in his truck to cut it open.
"The paper was quite brittle and was falling to pieces," he says.
Despite that, the message is still clearly readable.
"This is a message in a bottle done on the 7th of March in the year 1995 in a place called Picton."
It also has Courtney's name, age and a contact phone number.
Mr Goomes called the number on it, but it was disconnected. That's when his daughter took photos of it and posted it to Facebook.
With the help of the internet it took much quicker than two decades to find the sender.
Ms Stevenson, who now lives in Blenheim, was amazed the bottle had been found - and had forgotten she'd even sent the message.
All she remembers about that day is sending it with her grandmother.
Mr Goomes plans to laminate the note and send it back - but probably not by bottle.