The Council of Trade Unions Te Kauae Kaimahi (CTU) is mourning the passing of its inaugural Kuia Kāterina (Whaea Kā) Daniels, who sadly died last Friday, in Rotorua.

Whaea Kā, (Te Arawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) was active for many decades in the Tertiary Education Union Te Hautū Kahurangi (TEU) and in particular one of its predecessor unions, the Association of Staff in Tertiary Education Te Hau Takitini (ASTE).  Whaea Kā served as Kuia of ASTE from the mid-1980s and then TEU from the amalgamation with AUS in 2009. She had been a te reo Māori teacher for many years in both community and academic settings and worked at a number of polytechnics in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The CTU established the position of Kuia at its 2013 conference and Whaea Kā was selected for this and she carried out the role, alongside CTU Kaumātua Kiwhare Mihaka, until she retired from both the TEU and CTU roles in 2019.

Syd Keepa, CTU Vice-President Māori, said:

“Whaea Kā was always there for us. If we ever needed advice we’d go and see her. Her and Kiwhare worked well together. She was very committed to the kaupapa of Māori unionism, and very supportive of the developing of relationships between unions and iwi across Aotearoa. She will be missed – moe mai rā e te rangatira,” he said.

A tribute to Whaea Kā from the Tertiary Education Union, when she retired last year from her role there, is available here https://teu.ac.nz/news/katerina-daniels-retires