The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade has paid tribute to the late Sir Paul Reeves, a former Governor General of New Zealand who passed away last weekend
The Secretary General said that Sir Paul “was a man of great wisdom and courage who was not afraid to stand up for his beliefs. With a career of singular distinction spanning several decades, Sir Paul’s work from his beginnings as a deacon in the Anglican Church in 1958, followed by prominent appointments in the church ranks culminating in his becoming Archbishop of New Zealand from 1980, and subsequently as the first person of Maori descent to be appointed as Governor General of New Zealand in November 1985, is exceptional testament to commitment and dedication to the service of the people of New Zealand.”
Mr Slade noted that Sir Paul’s considerable leadership skills and experience also took him far afield with the work of the Commonwealth, and most recently closer to home as the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Fiji from 2007.
He said: “We at the Forum Secretariat are honoured and privileged to have worked alongside Sir Paul in encouraging full restoration of parliamentary democracy in Fiji in accordance with the respective decisions of the Forum Leaders and Commonwealth Heads of Government.”
Mr Slade added that “Sir Paul’s distinguished career and service to his country and the Pacific region is deserving of the highest honour and respect reserved for great Leaders of the Pacific, and his passing will be sincerely felt amongst his peers, colleagues and friends in the Pacific.”