16 Nov 2009

NZ diplomats saddened at Barrett's death

2:41 pm on 16 November 2009

New Zealand's deputy secretary of foreign affairs and trade says the ministry is deeply saddened at the passing of New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands.

Tia Barrett died suddenly after a short illness, on Sunday.

Peter Hamilton says he and Mr Barrett joined the Ministry around the same time in the early 1970s.

He says Mr Barrett became ill while on the golf course in Rarotonga last week and was rushed to hospital.

"'We were able to medical evacuate him to New Zealand, thank you to the French Military, who helped us at very short notice by providing an aircraft. And then he was taken to Middlemore hospital and he received superb treatment from the staff, but sadly he didn't recover from the illness."

Peter Hamilton, the deputy secretary of New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.