Hamilton city councillor and former Silver Fern Margaret Forsyth will step down from her council duties for a month as she continues to battle ongoing health issues.
Hamilton City Council confirmed this morning Forsyth would take paid leave effective from April 11, 2021.
Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate said it was important Forsyth focused on her health right now.
"We want Margaret to focus absolutely and entirely on her health and elected members and staff will do everything we can to support her in that.
"We are sending her and her family our love and warmest wishes."
Other elected members would pick up her workload during her temporary absence, she said.
Hamilton-based Forsyth, who played for the Silver Ferns between 1979 and 1987, was both assistant and then head coach of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic from 2014 to 2018.
The two-time world champion netballer stood again for Hamilton City Council in 2019 winning back a Hamilton East seat after a three-year hiatus. She currently chairs the council's environment committee.
Forsyth was first elected on to the council in 2010 and served for two terms before taking a break in the 2016 triennium.
In July last year, Forsyth was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).
for her services to netball.
Forsyth, in the council statement, said she appreciated the support from her council colleagues and staff but would not be making any public comment at this time.
When contacted by the Herald in September last year and on Monday, Forsyth said she was not ready to talk about her health challenges.
Prior to this week, she had not officially taken a leave of absence and had made her apologies week by week as she responded to treatment.
The council begins its long term plan hearings today and Forsyth had been expected to dial into it, according to the agenda.
Forsyth's request for leave comes a week after the Minister of Conservation and Emergency Management Kiri Allen confirmed she had stage 3 cervical cancer and would take medical leave while she undergoes treatment which starts this week.
- <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/labour-mp-and-cabinet-minister-kiri-allan-diagnosed-with-stage-3-cervical-cancer/MN62NQMRJ3X35R57J57PM35VAE/?ref=readmore" target="_blank">Labour MP and Cabinet Minister Kiri Allan diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer - NZ Herald</a>
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