Huntly Kuia shaves head for Daffodil Day

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Waireti Kaihe (Waikato, Ngāpuhi) is a volunteer at the St Johns opportunity shop in Huntly. In the spirit of Daffodil Day, the 76-year-old former educator, shaved her hair to raise money for the New Zealand Cancer Society. 

Being a former educator of 20+ years, Kaihe has always been a role-model for those in the community in which she resides.

With one in three New Zealanders being affected by cancer, Kaihe herself has had family members fall ill to it also.

"I lost my mum to cancer, and my younger brother has it also, so I know the pain that can come from losing loved ones to this illness."

Kaihe wanted her mokopuna to be the bearer of the shaver today, as she felt there was symbolism in that.

"I wanted my moko to experience this so that she can understand how important this kaupapa is and how real it is," she says. 

For five years, Kaihe has been volunteering at the St Johns Opportunity Shop and doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon.