28 Jul 2007

New Zealand cabinet minister to attend Sir Tom Davis' funeral in Cook Islands

7:18 am on 28 July 2007

Cabinet Minister, Chris Carter will represent New Zealand at the state funeral of Sir Tom Davis who died in the Cook Islands earlier this week aged 90.

The funeral will be held on Saturday local time, where thousands are expected to pay their last respects to the former Prime Minister, affectionately known as Papa Tom.

Mr Carter says he will be carrying a special message from Prime Minister, Helen Clark.

"The New Zealand government has a special affection for both the Cook Islands and the distinguished Cook Islanders like Sir Tom Davis, and I'll be taking a personal message because of my family connections to the Cooks I've come to honour perhaps the greatest Cook Islander whose lived in modern times, a person who has had a very distinguished international career and whose passing will be noted with regret by people both in New Zealand and the Cooks."

Chris Carter.

Tahiti President Gaston Tong Sang will also be taking a 35 strong delegation which will include former Prime Ministers, Oscar Temaru and Gaston Flosse.