It was a "red letter day" at the Whanganui District Court yesterday, as described by Judge Dugald Matheson.

Marton and Whanganui each gained two Justices of Peace.

The Chronicle spoke to the four woman appointed.

Sharyn Pearce


Born and raised in Whanganui, Ms Pearce resides in the River City with her husband and two sons.

The chartered accountant at Lyndsay Tait & Associates said there are three types of people in the world.

"Type one: see something that shouldn't happen and think someone should do something about that. Type two: see something that shouldn't happen and do something about it. And type three: play oblivious."

Ms Pearce said she wanted to become a JP because she sees herself as type two.

In order to meet the regulations of becoming a JP, the nominee needed to have been active in the community.

Ms Pearce has been a financial advisor for Hockey Wanganui for many years and has been heavily involved with Wanganui City Football Club.

Gaylene Jones

Ms Jones is the sixth generation in her family to have lived in Marton.

She is a self-employed accountant for her business Action Accounting Ltd.

Working both from her home and at her office in the centre of Marton, Ms Jones said she will make herself available from both locations.

"I'm very committed to serving the community. It's a great honour to be appointed and I have been looking forward to it."

Her service to the community includes; treasurer and president for the Rotary Club of Marton; treasurer for Marton St Johns; treasurer for St Martin Lutheran Church; and local leader for the Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ).

Bernadette Mcllwaine

Born in Levin, Ms Mcllwaine moved to Marton 25 years ago when she married her husband, Randall McIlwaine.

She is the MP support for Rangitikei MP electric, Ian McKelvie, and National Party Candidate for Palmerston North, Jono Naylor.

Ms Mcllwaine said she has always enjoyed giving back to the community and this is just another way to further her services.

"My father, Stuart Walker, was JP in Levin which also makes it special."

Ms Mcllwaine has worked in a number of voluntary roles involving music, Plunket and school committees.

She has been on the Nga Tawa Diocesan School board for five year.

Sandy Williams

Residing in Whanganui her whole life makes becoming a JP all the more special for Ms Williams.

The accountant from Belton, Smith & Associates Ltd said she had been looking for an opportunity to do something for the community when she came across the advertisement in the paper.

"I used to work in the courts and I have a real interest in the justice system. I worked alongside justices of peace and admired their worth so it's a real honour to become one," she said.

Ms Williams has been the secretary and treasurer for the Whanganui Porcelain Artist Association for over 25 years and has been heavily involved with the elderly community.

Functions of Justice of Peace:

-Witnessing of documents
-Taking of declarations
-Swearing of affidavits or affirming affirmations
-Jurisdiction determined by statute, including minor offences and some traffic cases
-Issue of remands and bail
-Hearing of undefended cases
-Presiding over defended trials