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Ryan Mead, who died in March, was about 13 when he put the note into the plastic bottle.
The note Ryan wrote said: "If you find the bottle, please right [write] and tell us where you found it."
He wrote the date - 1-8-94 - on it with the family's home phone number, which is still the same 25 years later.
The bottle was found on Camerons Beach, near the mouth of the Taramakau River, last week.
Levi Johnston was collecting rubbish and it was the only bottle he came across not filled with water.
"When I picked it up I saw something in it and realised it was a note. I tried to prise the note out but it, obviously being old, it started crumbling, so I cut the bottle open.
"I read the note and it had a telephone number."
Mr Johnston rang the number, spoke to Ryan's parents and returned the note to them.
"It's pretty cool really," Mr Johnston said.
- By Viv Logie