19 May 2011

Pacific community mourns lawyer Barton's death

3:26 pm on 19 May 2011

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

The opposition Labour Party's Pacific Islands spokesperson, Su'a William Sio, says Dr Barton was a champion of the people.

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.

That 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.

Su'a says he'll be remembered as a courageous fighter for the rights of others.

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