The cyclist killed after being hit by a courier van early
Monday was an active cycling safety campaigner who arrived at
work "lit up like a Christmas tree".
Mum-of-three Margaret Mary Pouw, known as Maggie, biked to a
Hamilton rest home for work every day and encouraged
colleagues and residents to join cycling and fitness
Last night the 53-year-old's family were stunned by her
sudden death, just 1km from home.
Her partner 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 "very
safety conscious" mum who would be "incredibly missed".
"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
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
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 by residents and staff alike.
"She was a beautiful, fabulous person. One of those people
who jollied everyone alone," 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
started 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.
He had been travelling along Morrinsville Rd in Hamilton
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 crash was still under investigation and the cause
yet to be confirmed.
She said speed and alcohol did not to appear to have been
factors in the accident. The driver was shaken but unhurt.
- By Kurt Bayer of APNZ