Mary 'Dot' Judkins, one of New Zealand's oldest people, dies at 108

Mary 'Dot' Judkin passed away on Sunday four days after her 108th birthday.
Mary 'Dot' Judkin passed away on Sunday four days after her 108th birthday. Photo credit: Supplied

One of New Zealand's oldest residents, Christchurch woman Mary 'Dot' Judkins, died on Sunday - just four days after her 108th birthday. 

Beth Judkins said her mother's secret to living a long and healthy life was eating five vegetables a day. 

"She would always have five vegetables a day. [She was] very slim and fit, the perfect weight until her death."

She was "absolutely stunning" on the inside and out, Ms Judkin said.

"She's the type of person you would see in an airport and you would turn and look."

Born in 1910, Dot had a "fabulous" life growing up in Invercargill, playing hockey for Otago before becoming a reporter for The Southland Times.

She then moved to Oamaru, where she was a reporter for The Oamaru Mail. 

She met her husband Walter, and the couple moved to Geraldine were they lived on a sheep farm before moving to Christchurch.

Beth said her mother was smart, charitable, compassionate and a "real lady". 

The 108-year-old had 10 children, 29 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. 

Since 2005 she has been living in care, where staff took "unbelievable care" of her.

An unofficial list claimed Dot was the 15th oldest person in the country.

Ms Judkin thought she may have been the oldest in the South Island, but was not certain.