Education Outdoors NZ (EONZ) mourns the loss of an Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) Champion

Education Outdoors NZ (EONZ) is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Cathye Haddock.

There are no words that can fully express the loss that the outdoor education community is feeling right now for the tragic and unexpected loss of Cathye, says EONZ Chief Executive Fiona McDonald.

“Cathye was an educator, leader, role model and wise mentor for countless members of the outdoor community and will be deeply missed.”

She will be remembered with deep respect and admiration by those who worked closely with her within schools and the community for her considerable contribution to outdoor education and outdoor leadership training in New Zealand. 

A leader in outdoor risk management she will be remembered for her considerable body of work in this field; from academics and policy makers to cavers and sea kayakers. Cathye was an inspiring personality and role model for many in the outdoors community and had a career not only as an intelligent, thoughtful outdoor educator, but also as a considerable influencer and highly regarded researcher and writer in outdoor recreation safety across New Zealand.

Cathye’s contribution was recognised by her winning the SPARC Supreme Award for Outstanding contribution to Outdoor Education and Recreation at the Outdoor sector awards in 2005.

Cathye was an influencer who designed and led the implementation of significant change. She wrote the Outdoor Safety, Risk management for outdoor leaders manual, first published by the NZ Mountain Safety Council in 1993, which quickly became the textbook for senior outdoor education classes. In 2002 she joined the Ministry of Education and wrote Safety and EOTC, a good practice guide for NZ schools, this was followed in 2009 by the EOTC Guidelines, Bringing the Curriculum Alive the key document from Ministry of Education supporting schools to deliver quality learning experience for their ākonga.

She has always been a tireless advocate for the value of education outdoors within the education sector and the Ministry of Education.

“Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with her husband Pete Simpson, her whānau and friends,” McDonald said.

Kua hinga te tōtara o Te Waonui a Tāne - a great tree has fallen in the forest of Tane