The death of Dr Ida Gaskin in New Plymouth at the age of 96 is personally a very sad occasion for me, says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.
“She was briefly my teacher and once inspired me to enter a speech contest at New Plymouth Boys High School which I won.
“She will always be remembered as the country’s leading authority on William Shakespeare and won the quiz show Mastermind on this subject.
“She was always passionate about Shakespeare and she was a fantastic teacher.
“Ida was shaped by her family background in Wales during the depression and she emigrated to New Zealand in 1946 to escape post war Britain.
“She received a doctorate from Waikato University in 2001 for her contribution to culture.
“Most of us in the Labour Party remember her as a dedicated and doughty supporter. She was also a one-time Labour candidate in 1984,” says Andrew Little.