August 11

year for love because this year six Whanganui couples living at the same retirement village celebrated their 60th wedding anniversaries.

The coincidence was uncovered during a conversation at Summerset village in Whanganui East. Alan Lints mentioned that he and wife June would be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary on August 23. "I then said that Joan and I would be celebrating ours on August 26 and that's how we discovered that six of us couples at Summerset have anniversaries this year," said Clive Sullivan.

The Sullivans were married in Feilding where they met as young teachers, while Alan and Faith Palmer also wed in the Manawatu town in December 1958. The Lints met and married in Whanganui - as did Frank and Doreen Stuthridge on April 7, and Ian and Joy Drummond on September 17.

Advertisement

The sixth Summerset couple, Dick and Pauline Muirhead, are the one couple who married outside the region, tying the knot in Wellington on February 22. And what are the secrets of six lasting marriages? Tolerance, forgiveness, stickability and coping together through life's ups and downs are helpful qualities, they say.

Six couples celebrating diamond wedding anniversaries this year are Joy (left) and Ian Drummond, Joan and Clive Sullivan, Faith and Alan Palmer, June and Alan Lints, Pauline and Dick Muirhead, Doreen and Frank Stuthridge. Photo/Stuart Munro
Six couples celebrating diamond wedding anniversaries this year are Joy (left) and Ian Drummond, Joan and Clive Sullivan, Faith and Alan Palmer, June and Alan Lints, Pauline and Dick Muirhead, Doreen and Frank Stuthridge. Photo/Stuart Munro
Six couples living at Somerset Village are celebrating 60 years of marriage.

August 13

on the wooden stage in Castlecliff School's hall; everything from baked beans and spaghetti to canned fruit and vegetables.

Placed together they spelled out the word "whanau" which has high significance within the school on Polson St. It was done as part of Wattie's Cans for Good, a cause that encourages students to collect, educate, create and donate and Castlecliff School library manager Nina Miller said that it is fantastic.

"Our students chose the whanau theme because it gave them a chance to get involved with the community, for our school whanau to show aroha to the rest of Whanganui," she said.

The students collected 238 cans which were distributed to those in need by the Salvation Army. "We're determined to keep our involvement going because it's a fabulous vehicle for our children. They see what being a part of a community means and what it means to help other within it."

Delia Clare, Ryleigh Burgess, Bella-Maria Dahya, Megan Marvelly, Isabella Winiata and Lucabella Rust with cans collected for the needy. Photo/Stuart Munro
Delia Clare, Ryleigh Burgess, Bella-Maria Dahya, Megan Marvelly, Isabella Winiata and Lucabella Rust with cans collected for the needy. Photo/Stuart Munro

August 15

of the New Zealand Order of Merit at a special investiture at Putiki Marae.

Advertisement

The honour was bestowed by the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy. She spoke of Dame Tariana's extraordinary contribution on behalf of all New Zealanders, her commitment, perseverance and compassion.

Dame Tariana's citation spoke of her time at Pakaitore, the way she founded Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority and her time in Parliament.

It said one of the hallmarks of her leadership was the idea that change was more enduring when people determined their own solutions.

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy formally makes Tariana Turia a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Photo/Stuart Munro
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy formally makes Tariana Turia a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Photo/Stuart Munro

August 18

Spring tides again made Whanganui's Wharf St boat ramp inaccessible. Several boats were unable to get back to berth last week and had to wait for the water to rise.

Coastguard Wanganui president Garry Hawkins said the tides were "exceptionally low" and were expected to be that way for at least another next week. Even the Coastguard boat has been affected. "At the weekend we struggled to get back in because of the low tide - we had to winch it," he said.

Whanganui District Council ports manager Phil McBride said he was aware of what has been an ongoing problem and a long-term strategy for dredging parts of the port - including the area adjacent to the Wharf St boat ramp - would form part of the Whanganui Port Revitalisation Project.

The council has had discussions with Coastguard and a purpose-built davit further downstream is being considered but Hawkins said the Coastguard boat wasn't set up for that.

Low tides left this boat stuck as it tried to get into the Wharf St boat ramp. Photo/Suppplied
Low tides left this boat stuck as it tried to get into the Wharf St boat ramp. Photo/Suppplied

August 21

strongly opposed parents' concerns about a decision to allow a teacher to bring her baby into the classroom.

A parent spoke out about her 6-year-old son's learning being neglected at Kaitoke School after the board and principal stood by their decision to allow the baby in the classroom for two hours a day.

Letters obtained by the Chronicle show parents, believed to involve 11 sets of parents out of the class of 19 pupils, wrote to the board outlining their unhappiness with the decision.

The letter said that at no stage had all the parents been consulted "and many have found out about the situation from their children and other parents".

The board said it was aware an unofficial petition regarding the baby in class had been circulating and "this has been done without agreement and support of the board and the board will not consider the results of it."

In the same newsletter the board said it was lucky to get an "experienced and highly recommended" relief teacher. As part of the agreement the teacher brings her baby into the class for two hours "and (the baby) is in a backpack the entire time". This agreement runs until the end of 2018.

Kaitoke School's board of trustees said a petition against the baby being in the classroom would be
Kaitoke School's board of trustees said a petition against the baby being in the classroom would be "incredibly upsetting". Photo/Bevan Conley

August 22

Police said they were sufficiently resourced to deal with any backlash following the fatal shooting of a man with suspected gang affiliations in Whanganui on August 21st.

Detective Inspector Ross McKay, central district crime manager, said a 27-year-old local man (later identified as Kevin Ratana) was fatally shot on a Puriri St property, sparking a homicide investigation.

Police are still on the scene of a fatal shooting in Puriri St in Whanganui

Police officers from Manawatu and Taranaki were called to Whanganui and are working on the case. A resident told the Chronicle he heard three gunshots and said he saw gang members fleeing from the scene.

Another resident said she heard two gunshots. Nearby schools were placed in lockdown.

The scene in Puriri St yesterday as police cordon off the street in the aftermath of the shooting. Photo/Bevan Conley
The scene in Puriri St yesterday as police cordon off the street in the aftermath of the shooting. Photo/Bevan Conley

August 25

went to check his hives near Kai Iwi, he found 64 beehives were gone.

He called his boss, Settlers Honey manager Bryn Hudson, and they notified Whanganui police. But Hudson and his workers decided to do a bit of detective work of their own and began talking to contacts about who the offenders may have been, and they came up with some places of interest to check out.

"A few of the boys identified the tread pattern of the tyres that had been used on the site," Hudson said. "They obviously weren't from any of our vehicles." Their investigations continued and they found a vehicle whose tyres matched the tread they had identified.

More compelling evidence was a trailer nearby that had recently been used to shift bees. "We found out about a property out at Turakina and sure enough we've gone there and we've seen a bunch of blokes in bee suits going through our beehives." Nathan David Churton was charged and convicted in Whanganui District Court with receiving property valued at over $1000.

He was sentenced to 170 hours of community work, six months' community detention and ordered him to pay $4600 in reparation.

Settlers Honey manager Bryn Hudson had to do some sleuthing when thieves struck at Kai Iwi. Photo/Stuart Munro
Settlers Honey manager Bryn Hudson had to do some sleuthing when thieves struck at Kai Iwi. Photo/Stuart Munro

August 29

The High Court quashed mining company Trans-Tasman Resources' consents to mine ironsand in the South Taranaki Bight.

The decision sparked jubilation among environmentalists and those who had opposed the mining of the seabed off Patea.

The company had been given consent by an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decision-making committee. The decision was appealed to Wellington High Court by seven parties, including iwi, fishing interests and the environmental group Kiwis Against Seabed Mining (KASM). It was heard over four days in April by Justice Peter Churchman.

The decision said it was unlawful to go ahead with the mining and set conditions for it once the effects were known - a process known as adaptive management. The judge sent the decision back to the EPA "for reconsideration, applying the correct legal test in relation to the concept of adaptive management approach". Trans-Tasman Resources (TTR) has previously indicated it is likely to appeal.

One of many protests against mining ironsand from the seabed saw Whanganui surgeon Athol Steward walk from Raglan to this finishing stretch on Kai Iwi beach. Photo/Stuart Munro
One of many protests against mining ironsand from the seabed saw Whanganui surgeon Athol Steward walk from Raglan to this finishing stretch on Kai Iwi beach. Photo/Stuart Munro

August 31

her wedding plans were in ruins when her father was unexpectedly hospitalised in Auckland the week before her big day. But that was before Air Chathams came to the party.

Denise Vuletich was expecting her parents Phyllis and Eugene Vuletich to arrive in Whanganui for her August 18 wedding to John Simon.

Her Dargaville parents had booked an Air Chathams flight for August 16 but two days before their trip a routine scan at Auckland hospital revealed her father, who has been battling cancer, had a new cyst.

When Air Chathams customer services manager Gray Tinley heard of the family's plight, he sprang into action. "He transferred mum and dad's tickets to us so we could fly up to Auckland and back when it suited us," Vuletich said. "We managed to travel up on the Thursday and back on Friday and were married Saturday as planned."

The couple's wedding went ahead and the bride said her oldest son, Tyrone Kent, walked her down the aisle instead of her father.

Phyllis and Eugene Vuletich got to celebrate with their daughter Denise and soon to be son-in-law John Simon (above). Denise and John at their wedding (right). Photos/Supplied
Phyllis and Eugene Vuletich got to celebrate with their daughter Denise and soon to be son-in-law John Simon (above). Denise and John at their wedding (right). Photos/Supplied