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“I am saddened to learn about the passing of Lady June Hillary on 1 June,” says Joe Fowler, Deputy Secretary Delivery and Investment, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

June, Lady Hillary QSM (1931-2024) was the loving wife of Sir Edmund Hillary, and widow of Peter Mulgrew. She was the patron of the New Zealand Nepal Society and served as the Honorary Consul-General of Nepal to New Zealand for many years. 

Peter Mulgrew was the commentator on Air New Zealand flight TE901, which on 28 November 1979 crashed into the slopes of Mt Erebus. 257 people died in the crash, making it New Zealand’s largest loss of life outside of wartime. 

In early 2016, Lady June Hillary joined the advocacy work for the National Erebus Memorial alongside the Reverend Dr Richard Waugh QSM. Lady June Hillary agreed to be the advocacy group’s patron and continued to offer her support for the National Erebus Memorial in the years since. 

“We share our deepest condolences with Lady June’s whānau, friends and community. Her generosity and support of the National Erebus Memorial and Erebus families, while experiencing such loss herself, will not be forgotten.”