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Helen Kelly dies, aged 52

The union stalwart and assisted dying advocate died in Wellington this morning, aged 52.

Former union boss Helen Kelly has died.
She lost her battle with cancer, aged 52.
Kelly, resigned as the Council of Trade Unions president where she was an active campaigner in the media for workers’ rights, in October 2015, after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in February that year, despite having never smoked.
While receiving treatment for terminal cancer, the Wellingtonian campaigned for the right to die with dignity, and the right to use medicinal cannabis to treat pain.
She told NEXT magazine earlier this year that importance needs to be placed on quality of life rather than quantity of life.
“The ideal death is to be at home surrounded by people you love and to just slip away peacefully – but the reality is that this won’t happen for many terminally ill people who will have an incredibly painful death,” she said.
“If you can’t move, get out of bed, talk, eat, feed yourself – have you already in a sense died?”
However, as with any complex issue, “there is no perfect solution so we shouldn’t beat ourselves up going round in circles. We just need to start somewhere.”
After her diagnosis, Kelly married her long-time partner Steve Hurring, and while dealing with pain, in August, she told The Nation she had had a wonderful year and would not want to have spent it simply lounging around.
"It's nice to have time before you die. That's a blessing."
Kelly leaves husband Hurring and son Dylan.