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Simon Johnston was a long-term journalist on Waiheke who twice had stints as editor of Gulf News. He began reporting for the paper in 1987. The following year he was at the helm when the newspaper famously had to move its printing presses onto a barge in Huruhi Bay to continue publishing while a challenge to its council permit was investigated and dismissed. When journalist Jim Eagles bought the paper in 1990, Simon remained as chief reporter. He left in 1997 and returned in 2003 to work with then-editor Greg Treadwell. In 2005 he took over as editor again when Greg left.
Among Simon's many passions, music was probably his dearest and many on Waiheke would know him for his performances in the island's bars.
He fell after attempting to jump from a ferry to Devonport Wharf on Sunday 10 May 2009, and subsequently died in hospital.