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Donna Merrie Manning, 43, loved seeing people step outside their comfort zone and succeed. And in her role with Canterbury Television she saw that all the time.

Sadly, it was in the CTV workplace in which she excelled as a presenter and producer that she is thought to have lost her life.

Donna was among the CTV staff caught in the earthquake. Her death was confirmed by police on March 11, 2011.

Her brother Maurice Gardiner said Donna's immediate family were not good after the disaster.


Mr Gardiner spent about five hours helping to pull bodies from the CTV wreckage only to get the news there was no hope for his sister.

"We all hope, don't we, when we are in a situation like this," Mr Gardiner said.

"But we've got to lay it all down in prayer and hope it works out. And if it doesn't, we've just got to continue down that road."

Donna was always "very, very professional in her work".

"I think the people she rubbed shoulders with in the business held her in very high regard."

She was also an "excellent mum" to her two children, Mr Gardiner said.

"As a sister, she was wonderful. Very caring, very loving."

She leaves behind her two children Libby, 18, and Kent, 15.