Lawyer, politician dies

Ken Yee had lived in Howick and Pakuranga since 1977 and served two terms as a Manukau City councillor for Howick.

Long-time local body politician and Botany lawyer Ken Yee has died.

Yee, whose service was held on Saturday, passed away peacefully on June 19.

His death notice reads: “Dearly beloved husband of Cora. Loving father to Jacqueline and Laurence. Cherished son of the late Trevor Yee and Mrs Gett Fong Yee and brother to Dawn, Helen, Jean and Murray.”

Yee, who was the National Party’s candidate for Manukau East in 1996, 1999 and 2005, had lived in Howick and Pakuranga since 1977 and served two terms as a Manukau City councillor for Howick.

His death was acknowledged and his service was commemorated during Auckland Council’s governing body meeting. Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart said it was a great loss for the Howick community.

Stewart told the Times she was extremely saddened to hear of her good friend’s death.

“We were both councillors on the Manukau City Council serving Howick,” she said.

“Ken Yee and I, with the support of Sir Barry Curtis and fellow Manukau Councillors, moved a motion to save Crawford Reserve in Howick, one of the achievement he and I were very proud of.  We called a public meeting over the Crawford Reserve which was the old bus depot and then a car yard.

“Howick has a lot to thank Ken Yee for, a fellow councillor and lawyer and a long time and loyal supporter of the National party.  Rest in peace my dear friend.  You will be missed.”

Former Pakuranga MP and Cabinet minister Maurice Williamson also paid tribute.

“I heard the sad news of the passing of Ken Yee. I wish to express my condolences to his wife Cora and his wider family,” Williamson said.

“I first met Ken in the common room at Auckland University in 1972. He held, and forcibly expressed, very strong political views way back then.

“I ran into Ken at a few National Party conferences but it was in 1986 I got to know him well.”

Both Yee and Williamson were seeking the National Party nomination for the Pakuranga electorate.

“We spent many evenings attempting to convince all the National Party delegates that we were the right person to be their candidate,” Williamson said.

“Eventually I was successful and Raewyn and I bought a house in Fisher Parade which tuned out to be only a few doors down from Ken.

“Ken always stayed loyal to the party and unsuccessfully sought selection again for the Howick seat in 1990.

After that Ken successfully stood for a seat on the Manukau City Council. We often chatted about issues both local and national. I always valued Ken’s input.”