Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has noted with sadness the passing of Dr Joe Williams due to COVID-19.
“Dr Williams, a former Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, contributed very significantly to his two home countries through a lifetime of service,” Mr Peters said.
“As a doctor, a health researcher and as a politician, Dr Williams made a serious mark on the communities he served. He will be greatly missed in both New Zealand and the Cook Islands.”
Mr Peters offered his condolences to Dr Williams’ family, as well to as the people and government of the Cook Islands.
“Dr Williams was a dedicated and passionate man. He was an enduring example example of a Cook Islander who came to New Zealand for education, and then made a real difference in his chosen career,” Mr Peters said.
“His family and the people of the Cook Islands should be proud of all that he achieved.”
“New Zealand First was very proud to have him as a candidate in 2005.”