The New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands Brian Donnelly has resigned and is to return to Auckland where he will undergo medical treatment.
Mr Donnelly informed the Foreign Minister Winston Peters earlier this week, that his illness made it impossible for him to carry out his duties successfully.
Mr Donnelly who spent much of the 1970's on the main island Rarotonga where among other things he played rugby and taught at Titikaveka College.
He says it is with regret that he has to leave the Cook Islands.
"First step is to get back to New Zealand and get to the medical sort of thing and see what sort of treatment they can offer to me to stabilise things from where they are at the moment and then we'll have to make our decisions from there."