Inspirational Pacific leader will be greatly missed

Wednesday 2 July 2008, 7:18PM
By Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban

Elizabeth Peivi Alice Lee-Lo Smith or Aunty Liz as she was known fondly by many in our Pacific communities was an inspirational leader who will be greatly missed, Pacific Island Affairs Minister and Mana MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said today.

"Aunty Liz leaves behind a legacy of service, courage and advocacy for the interests of workers and the wellbeing of our Pacific peoples. She was a strong, compassionate and generous woman who made an enormous impact on the lives of others.

"Her passion for her wider community is evident in the many Pacific networks she founded and her activism in the unions. Aunty Liz was an executive member of the Service and Food Workers Union, a founding member of the New Zealand Council for Trade Union's Komiti Pacifica and she served on the Mental Health Commission Tagata Pasifika. She was also a member of the Wellington Samoan Advisory Council, and a founder of both the Wellington Pacific Community Mental Health Service and the Cannons Creek Fanau Centre in Porirua," Laban said.

In the 2003 New Year Honours Aunty Liz's significant community contribution of well over 40 years was recognised when she was made an Honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

"Aunty Liz was a dedicated and committed Pacific leader who is an inspiration for many in our community and particularly our Pacific women.

"My condolences and sympathies are with Aunty Liz's family, friends and all those communities who she touched during her life. She was very much loved and her presence and dedication to her local community and our Pacific peoples will be remembered,” Laban said.

Elizabeth Peivi Alice Lee-Lo Smith's funeral will be held today at the Mungavin Community Hall in Porirua.