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Sandra Lee Tribute To Betty Wark

Alliance Deputy Leader Sandra Lee, expressed "deep sorrow" today at the loss of a friend and role model, Betty Wark.

"In my years as City Councillor and Member of Parliament from Auckland Central, I observed Betty’s gutsy stoicism in supporting and fighting for the rights of the people that the rest of society rejects," Ms Lee said.

"Ex prisoners, street kids, drug addicts and people suffering from mental health illnesses were always able to find shelter under Betty’s cloak and in her big old warm boarding house in Ponsonby.

"She never set out to make her own name famous or to seek mana. More importantly she never moved on or away from the flax roots people she spent her life supporting.

"They knew and will mourn Betty more than the rest of us, because she was one of a few who really cared in a practical sense, one of a few who walked their talk.

"I fear Betty’s passing may be reflected in statistics of people whose lives, if she’d still been with us, would have been turned around. The lesson we can learn from Betty’s life’s work is to exhibit tolerance, grace and understanding of the 'otherness'.”

Haere ki to moe roa e kuia rangatira.

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