March 2, 2019
The South Taranaki township of Waverley was reeling from news that its largest employer, Waverley Sawmills, will close.
Sixty-five jobs are lost, dealing the township and surrounding areas a devastating economic blow. Waverley's population stands at 861.
South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop said the news was "a major shock".
Whanganui MP Harete Hipango described it as distressing for the owner, his family and sawmill staff.
March 10, 2019
The young folk of Whanganui had a message for the rest of us - wake up, climate change is real and we need to do more than we are.
Fynn Rees, 16, was to attend the Whanganui School Strike 4 Climate, which was scheduled to take place at the punch bowl at Virginia Lake on March 15 starting at 10am.
That was a Friday, meaning students wanting to strike had to skip some classes at school or miss a day altogether to support the cause.
Rees said it was a worthy one and people who deny climate changes and things like global warming need a wake-up call.
Cullinane College principal Justin Harper said it was clear to him that a significant number of students were passionate about the cause and that the notion of a strike was important.
March 11, 2019
Whanganui teenager Alice Giltrap is something of a medical miracle after surviving a life-threatening brain injury last year.
The 17-year-old was flown to Wellington last September for emergency surgery when she suffered encephalitis, an infection that causes brain inflammation.
In March, she was one of more than 46,000 fans to attend US hip-hop superstar Eminem's concert at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.
"She is still recovering from surgery to replace the section of her skull that was removed to allow the swelling in her brain to come down," said mum Maree Dowdle.
March 18, 2019
It was meant to be a day to celebrate race unity.
Instead, hundreds gathered at Whanganui's Majestic Square on Saturday, united by grief and shock.
With the horrors of Friday's mosque slayings still sinking in, people's faces expressed a range of emotions as they tried to come to terms with what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called "one of New Zealand's darkest days".
Fifty people died in two mosque attacks in Christchurch and more than 40 others were wounded as New Zealand's innocence was ripped away in a terror attack that nobody could imagine would visit these shores.
March 19, 2019
A 59-year-old woman appeared in Whanganui District Court charged with murdering a 13-year-old girl.
Several days earlier police had responded to a call from someone saying that they had harmed a family member.
When police arrived at the scene, a property on Niblett St, they discovered that the victim, Kalis Mania Smith, was dead.
Kalis' grandmother, Lorraine Smith, pleaded guilty to her murder and in August was sentenced to 12 years' jail.
Justice Francis Cooke spoke of Smith's battles with severe mental health issues throughout her life and said she suffered from "carer burnout".
"Ms Smith has devoted her life to caring for her family, to the detriment of her own health and welfare - pressures mounted to the point that Ms Smith has taken the life of one of those she committed her life to caring for."
Family members described Smith as a devoted grandmother who turned herself inside out to help her loved ones, but Justice Cooke accepted she was suffering from severe emotional, mental and physical exhaustion.
He said she was "overcome with remorse and suffers from profound grief".
"You have had an extremely difficult life and have been required to carry a heavy burden. In the end the circumstances overwhelmed you."