Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate and her colleagues have paid warm tributes to Councillor Margaret Forsyth who died today surrounded by family, including her three sons.
Councillor Forsyth who was battling with cancer, was serving her third term as a Hamilton City Councillor. She first served from 2010 – 2016 and was elected again in 2019. During this term she was Chair of Council’s Environment Committee. She was also on the managing committee of Neighbourhood Support Hamilton but resigned due to ill-health after for a short period.
Just three weeks ago, Forsyth took leave from Council to manage health challenges that she had been dealing with quietly for some time.
In July last year, she attended an investiture ceremony in Auckland where she officially became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to netball and the community.
Mayor Southgate said Forsyth was a “stoic and principled” Councillor who was forthright and considered in her views.
“She was an outstanding role model for young women in particular. She was well loved and respected and her passing will be a huge shock to many. I and her many friends and colleagues at work are deeply saddened and send the family our love at this time.”
Councillor Angela O’Leary said Forsyth was both a colleague and a “kind and caring friend”.
Forsyth first advocated for an overall cycling plan for the city and it was fitting a long-term cycling strategy was approved by Council just last week, O’Leary said.
“Having that cycling plan in place will be one of Margaret’s legacies for the city, but there are many others. She was passionate about getting more women involved in politics and she was incredibly supportive of others who put themselves forward and tried to make a positive difference.”
Southgate said she and O’Leary were working directly with Forsyth’s family to make arrangements for a fitting tribute from the city.