19 May 2011

Pacific community mourns lawyer's death

10:34 pm on 19 May 2011

The Pacific community in New Zealand is mourning the death of Wellington-based lawyer George Barton, QC.

The Labour Party's Pacific Islands spokesperson, Su'a William Sio, says Dr Barton was a champion of the people and a courageous fighter for the rights of others.

He says Samoans, in particular, will remember him for his significant personal contribution when he spoke out against New Zealand's 1982 Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act.

The law overrode a Privy Council ruling that gave New Zealand citizenship to Samoans born between 1924 and 1948, when New Zealand still administered Western Samoa, Radio New Zealand International reports.

Dr Barton was a member of the bar in New Zealand, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, Sarawak and Sabah.