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Betty Wark Will Be Missed

18 May 2001

Auckland identity Betty Wark will be missed by many thousands of New Zealanders, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

'Ma Betty' died yesterday after a lifetime of service to her community providing warm beds and good old fashioned advice to young people living on the margins of Auckland society. Mr Maharey said Betty Wark had a huge capacity for compassion, tempered with a firm disciplinarian hand and that she had turned around many lives.

"Betty Wark was a fine New Zealander whose death we should all note with sadness.

"I met Betty at her Ponsonby boarding house last year and, despite clearly being very ill, her solid determination to rebuild shattered lives was very evident.

"She was passionate about making sure every person got the support they needed to realise their potential – and she spent her life making a substantial personal contribution to seeing this was so.

"Ma Betty will be missed but her legacy will live on in the lives of the many thousands of young people who she turned around," Steve Maharey said.


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