The Wellington coroner Garry Evans has found that Paekakariki leader Adrian Webster and his wife Marei died early last year in a suicide pact.
Adrian, a leading political figure in Kapiti for many years, and his devoted partner Marei Bollinger signed a suicide pact before ending their lives together.
They were found lying side-by-side by family in Ames Street, Paekakariki, in March last year.
Adrian had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, which was unknown by his family, and had been given only months to live. And before her death Marei had said to friends she would be unable to live without him.
She has been described by friends as his ‘loyal lieutenant, confidant and friend.’
Leading role in community
Adrian Webster and Marei Bollinger-Webster, both in their 70s, took a leading part in politics and community affairs.
Adrian was the Paekakariki Community Board chairman for many years and was an active figure in KCDC affairs. He was known unofficially as ‘the Mayor’ of Paekakariki.
Although he had no vote at the Council table, his views and suggestions were widely respected. He had an enormous depth of knowledge of political issues, as did his wife Marei, who was a well-known campaigner for left-wing and humanitarian causes.
Marei was an expert gardener (as was Adrian ) and the popular couple ran a small gardening business from their home for many years.
In his findings from the inquest into the cause of death, coroner Garry Evans found the couple were parties to a suicide pact.
Mr Evans says it is desirable the ‘true facts surrounding the couple’s deaths should be made known as it attracted widespread media coverage at the time.’
Mr Evans suppressed all information about the cause of their deaths. He says there ‘should be no legitimate interest from the public in the manner in which the couple met their deaths,’
He says several notes were found by family alluding to suicide after the bodies were discovered by family members, Mr Evans said.