16 Nov 2009

New Zealand's High Commissioner to Cook Islands dies

5:48 am on 16 November 2009

New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Te Rongotoa Barrett, also known as Tia Barrett, has died in hospital in Auckland after a short illness.

Mr Barrett, who was 62, had been flown to Auckland on a medical evacuation flight last week.

New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, described Mr Barrett as a respected diplomat, particularly in the Pacific where he served in a number of postings.

Mr Barrett had been High Commissioner to Solomon Islands and Fiji along with the Cook Islands and had also been posted to Tonga, New Caledonia, and France.

Mr Barrett previously led the then Foreign Ministry's Maori Policy Unit and was Chief of Protocol.