Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Daughter's tribute to cyclist

Much loved mother-of-three hit by a courier van encouraged others to cycle and exercise.

Margaret Pouw was an amazing woman with a huge heart, her son says.
Margaret Pouw was an amazing woman with a huge heart, her son says.

The daughter of a cyclist killed after being hit by a courier van on Monday said her mother was "very safety conscious" and would be "incredibly missed".

Mum-of-three Margaret Mary Pouw, known as Maggie, was an active cycling safety campaigner. She biked to a Hamilton rest home for work every day and encouraged colleagues and residents to join cycling and fitness challenges.

Last night the 53-year-old's family were stunned by her death, just 1km from home.

Her husband Joe Waas, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Waikato, was too upset to speak.

But daughter Hanna Pouw Waas, 23, paid tribute to her mother.

"She was a loving and caring woman ... willing to help anyone at any time."

Mrs Pouw was born in Ontario, Canada, and had been married to Dr Waas for more than 30 years.

The couple had lived in New Zealand for more than 20 years, and have three children, Jesse, 29, Jake, 26, and Hanna.

Jesse Pouw Waas said his mother had a positive life outlook, and was "an amazing woman with a huge heart".

"She was cheerful and loving and loved by many," he said.

Her "eyes would light up" at the thought of going for a hike or run, and she loved encouraging family and friends to take part.

She was passionate about cycling safety, and always wore a helmet and used a light and other accessories, he said.

Jesse said he was particularly saddened his mother wouldn't be at his wedding in France in September. "I know she had lots of romantic notions about things like sharing a mother-son dance."

Her funeral would be held in Canada.

Mrs Pouw was a caregiver at Atawhai Assisi Home and Hospital, just outside Hamilton.

Chief executive Judy Hindrup said Mrs Pouw would be hugely missed.

"She was a beautiful, fabulous person. One of those people who jollied everyone along," Ms Hindrup said.

Mrs Pouw would arrive at work on dark, winter mornings "lit up like a Christmas tree", she said.

"The irony of this was she was an avid safety advocate."

Mrs Pouw, who'd worked at the rest home for 10 years, even launched an annual Tour de St Francis of Assisi event where staff cycled around the grounds.

"We'd done it every year since around 2007 and the residents would be pushed in wheelchairs or helped with their walkers and round and round we'd go around the grounds, it was great," Ms Hindrup said. She vowed to keep the event going in Mrs Pouw's name.

The Courier Post driver, in his 30s, told the Herald yesterday that he didn't have time to brake before the crash.

He had been travelling along Morrinsville Rd about 6.30am when his van and Ms Pouw collided at the intersection of Morrinsville Rd and Matangi Rd.

Waikato District road policing manager Inspector Freda Grace said the cause of the crash was yet to be confirmed.

- NZ Herald

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