25 Sep 2008

Former MP Brian Donnelly dies

7:16 pm on 25 September 2008

Brian Donnelly, a former New Zealand First MP and High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, has died after a short illness. He was 58.

Mr Donnelly was elected to Parliament in 1996, becoming an associate Minister of Education in the New Zealand First - National coalition government.

He retired from Parliament earlier this year to take up the post of High Commissioner in Rarotonga, but ill-health forced him to resign after just six months.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters paid tribute to Mr Donnelly in Parliament on Thursday, saying he was a man of integrity and character with friends everywhere.

Mr Donnelly is survived by his wife, Linda, and three children.