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PM drops in to return bottle

Independent Gisborne winemakers Steve and Eileen Voysey were delighted to receive a broken empty bottle of their Spade Oak Blanc de Blancs bubbly.

But it was not just any old bottle, and not just any old person returned it.

The bottle came back framed, and it was presented to them by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Ms Ardern used the (full) bottle to launch the HMNZS Manawanui during its commissioning at Devonport naval base last year.

The bottle of Blanc de Blancs Methode Traditionelle was broken in the traditional maritime manner over the bow of the HMNZS Manawanui.

The Prime Minister was present as the official “sponsor” of the dive and hydrographic vessel and the navy later presented the bottle to her.

Mr and Mrs Voysey know the parents of Clarke Gayford, Ms Ardern's fiance, and called in to see them over the Christmas break.

Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford holiday in Gisborne each Christmas.

Mrs Voysey said they were “delighted” to receive the bottle back from the Prime Minister.

Spade Oak Wines donated the wine to Gisborne Leading Seaman Karl Neustroski, a crew member of Manawanui.

Mr Neustroski chose the Spade Oak wine for the June commissioning ceremony as Gisborne is the home port of the navy vessel.

HEARTS OF OAK: Eileen and Steve Voysey at the Spade Oak cellar door in Gisborne with the framed broken bottle used to commission the HMNZS Manawanui. Inset, the PM and the Voyseys, in barefoot holiday mode. Picture by Liam Clayton