Former union boss Helen Kelly dies after battle with cancer

Publish Date
Friday, 14 October 2016, 8:03AM
Helen Kelly, who died today, pictured while president of the Council of Trade Unions in July 2011. Photo / Paul Estcourt / NZ Herlad

Helen Kelly, who died today, pictured while president of the Council of Trade Unions in July 2011. Photo / Paul Estcourt / NZ Herlad

Former union boss Helen Kelly has died.

Ms Kelly has lost her battle with lung cancer.

She was 52.

Kelly, the former Council of Trade Unions president, was diagnosed with terminal cancer in February 2015.

Although she stood down from the CTU in October that year, Kelly continued to fight for the causes she believed in until the end.

She campaigned through the media and social media about conditions for farm and forestry workers even from her bed in Wellington's Mary Potter Hospice.

She even picked up a few new causes in her final months, becoming a leading advocate for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis and lending her weight to the campaign to allow assisted dying.

Throughout her time heading the CTU, Kelly was the face of high-profile and long-running campaigns to improve workplace health and safety in sectors such as forestry and farming.

- NZ Herald