Friends have paid tribute today to one of the victims
of yesterday's Work and Income office shootings in Ashburton.
Peg Noble, 67, who worked at the office, was well known
around the town. She was "hard but fair" in her job, friends
say - someone who wouldn't tolerate rule breaking or
"She was good at her job - hard but fair, but in that job
you'd have to be. I couldn't do it and she certainly didn't
deserve that ending," said one friend.
They played together at the Ashburton RSA and MSA (Mutual
School of Arts) and toured New Zealand playing tournaments,
even winning a big competition in Christchurch one year.
"Peg was great fun to be around - a laugh a minute," the
friend said, who did not wish to be named. "Whenever I popped
in to Winz she was always up for a chat."
Her partner Don, a shearer, would be devastated, the friend
said. "They were truly made for one another as far as I could
A neighbour of Ms Noble also said she was an infamously hard
taskmaster at Winz who "had no time for lazy people" or
people "with their hands out". "In my dealings with her, she
took no s*** and I respected her for that."
Another local said Ms Noble had been talking about retirement
in recent months. "She felt like she'd done enough and wanted
to enjoy herself."
Bouquets of flowers have been laid at various points of the
large cordon that remains around the Winz centre today.
Ms Noble was shot dead, along with fellow worker Susan
Cleveland. Another colleague, Lindy Curtis, was seriously
injured in the shooting.
Ms Cleveland, who went by her middle name of Leigh, moved to
Ashburton from Christchurch after the quakes. She lived alone
in a red brick house on the eastern fringe of town where she
A neighbour said she had a son and "was a quiet lady who kept
to herself and was quite often away at the weekends, I think
through her dog breeding".
Ms Curtis was flown to Christchurch Hospital in a critical
condition yesterday. Hospital staff said they could not
comment on her condition.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett today said Ms
Curtis had asked for complete privacy. "I think the fact that
she's talking and asking for that is an indication she is
recovering," Ms Bennett said.