A beautiful day on a snowy mountain delivered the perfect moment for Sonny Te Rure and Maria Williams.

They were at the roadside camping reserve beside the Mangahuia Stream at the foot of Mt Ruapehu. Te Rure, a survivor of the army's 1990 tragedy on the mountain, had been shooting a video interview with a Herald photographer. Williams was sheltering from the cool winter wind in the back of the car, door open.

"I've never been the kind of guy to go down on my knee," Te Rure says.

"The day was beautiful. I thought to myself, what an ideal moment. If I'm ever going to
do it, this is the time and the spot to do it."


Down went the knee and Te Rure popped the question to his partner of more than 10 years.
"I asked her for her hand in marriage.

"She broke into tears, but it was emotion. Then she said yes."

Te Rure and Williams, who between them have five grown-up children from previous relationships, have not set the date for their wedding.