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Growing up with a fundamental belief in equality and humanity, trade unionist Helen Kelly always knew that she would be political and active in some way. Starting out as a teacher, Kelly became a union delegate and eventually, President of the Council of Trade Unions (CTU).
A champion of workers’ rights Helen Kelly revolutionised safety standards in New Zealand forestry. Other campaigns included working with the Pike River families, and in the film, farming and fishing industries.
As a person who stood up for what she believed in, Kelly continued as a passionate advocate even after a cancer diagnosis – during her illness she campaigned for the right to die with dignity and the right to use medicinal cannabis.
The feature documentary, Helen Kelly: Together had its world premiere in late 2018.
In this extract from an interview with RNZ’s John Campbell, Helen Kelly reflects on some of the influences in her life.
Find out more about Helen Kelly:
Listen to the RNZ programme "Influential Kiwis talk about their influences: Helen Kelly".
Image: Screengrab: Helen Kelly in Her Words.
Catalogue Reference F266261
Interviewer: John Campbell, Checkpoint, RNZ National