14 Aug 2008

New Zealand's High Commissioner in Cook Islands steps down due to ill health

1:17 pm on 14 August 2008

The New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands has resigned due to ill health.

This was confirmed by the Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, who says it was with regret that he accepted Brian Donnelly's resignation.

He says Mr Donnelly, who was appointed in February, felt his medical condition was preventing him from carrying out duties as High Commissioner to his fullest ability, and he respects that decision.

Mr Peters says Mr Donnelly's long-standing connection with the Cook Islands gave him a special insight in the uniqueness of the relationship betweent he two countries and the importance of maintaining those ties.

An Acting High Commissioner will be appointed until a replacement for Mr Donnelly is named.