A father-of-two stabbed to death in a Kaikoura camper van pleaded "don't do it" as his wife dug a knife into his neck and chest during a drunken argument.

Ann Shirley Balkind, 61, was today sentenced to four years and three months in prison at the High Court in Blenheim for the manslaughter of her husband Peter McPherson.

Details of the final moments of the cattle musterer, affectionately known as "Dingle" and killed on January 27, 2018, were released in Justice Karen Clark's sentence notes today.

After the 8.5cm deep wound though McPherson's neck punctured his lung, and the second incision cut through his chest penetrating his diaphragm, McPherson staggered out of their campervan in the Top 10 Holiday Park in Kaikōura late in the evening.

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"A witness then saw the door of the campervan open and Dingle, covered in blood, came out first, closely followed by you. He was seeking help," Clark wrote.

Despite Balkind's claims she was trying to assist McPherson, witnesses at the scene said she was still "arguing, and angry" with her husband.

"At some point you said to those who had gathered to help, 'I don't know why you're bothering with him, he doesn't care about me'.

"As bystanders attempted to assist Dingle you came in and out of the camper van.

"You were upset and apparently angry telling Dingle, 'This is all your fault, you always do this'."

The dispute between the couple reportedly begun over the cost of an Albatross Encounter tour, and threats from McPherson to kill Balkind's cat.

In his victim impact statement, McPherson's 29-year-old son's said he had lost his main support system, "not just his dad but one of his best friends who would be there for him in a heartbeat", the judge said.

Justice Clark cited McPherson's daughter's "heartbreak and how the day before her father's death was the last day she has spent without tears".

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The Crown argued the exact details of the events leading up to McPherson's death would never being know, but described his killing as "extreme violence", Stuff reported.

"This was not a single stroke killing."