Ms Smith was the first female president of the 72,000 member union, representing a wide range of occupations in both the public service and private sector.
The union employs over 180 servicing and clerical staff in 12 area offices across the province and at the head office.
The union dates back to 1919. Half its membership work in government service. The other half include instructors and support staff for colleges and institutes, community health care workers, group homes staff members, bank and credit union employees, and employees in hotels, department stores, first nations governments, theatres, and casinos, amongst other places.
Ms Smith attended Wanganui Girls’ College, completing the sixth form in 1980. The following year she entered Palmerston North Teachers’ College in the Early Childhood Education programme, and graduated in 1982.
She worked at Barsanti, Gonville and Harriette Vine kindergartens, before leaving for Canada as a nanny.
Source: Wanganui Chronicle