New Zealand Pays Tribute to Kiwi MH17 Victims

New Zealand pays Tribute to a Kiwi woman and her Dutch husband who were among the Passengers killed in the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. According to reports, family and friends described them as a  beautiful couple.

 MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine, a pro Russian territory, by rebel forces. Reports said a surface to air Missile had hit the Malaysia Airline jet with 298 Passengers and crew on board including New Zealand resident Robert Ayley the couple, Mary Menke and Dutch husband, Gerry Menke.

The 65-year-old woman is a New Zealand native who moved to Australia when she was in her 20s. She lived with her 72-year-old husband in Victoria. The couple operated an abalone pearl company in Mallacoota and Sunbury which won a business award recently. 

Business and Tourism East Gippsland's Jeanette Seignior said the couple is a great loss to the community. Media Reports said the couple had four children who said they take comfort in the fact that their parents were together when they died.

Ayley, who was the other New Zealander among the MH17 victims, was originally from Guildford, Surrey. He was living in Otaki with his wife Sharlene and two children. Ayley's wife said he was away from home for a month because he was in Europe visiting Rottweiler breeders.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has requested a special meeting of the UN Security Council to call on Authorities concerned to secure the MH17 crash site for an International Investigation, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

he dead from the downed MH17 plane include 28 Australians, 44 Malaysians, nine British and 189 Dutch.

According to a Top Rebel Leader in Ukraine, pro-Russia Fighters are willing to secure the MH17 crash site if Kiev will agree to a truce. In a statement Andrei Purgin, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic's deputy premier, said they will guarantee the safety of International Investigators on the Crash Site if Kiev will sign a ceasefire agreement.

Mohini Porwal [ B Sc]
Trainee News Editor


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