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PM pays tribute to Rt Hon Fraser Colman

11 April 2008 Media Statement

PM pays tribute to Rt Hon Fraser Colman

Prime Minister Helen Clark today expressed sorrow on hearing of the death of former Labour Cabinet Minister Rt Hon Fraser Colman, who served in both the Third and Fourth Labour Governments.

Fraser MacDonald Colman, passed away today, aged 83.

Helen Clark said that Fraser Colman was a great Labour Party stalwart to the end. He served as Member of Parliament for Petone from 1967 to 1978 and then for Pencarrow from 1978 to 1984, when he was succeeded by Sonja Davies.

“Fraser was an active Labour Party member all his life. He worked as a tradesman before becoming Assistant General Secretary of the Party. He held that position for twelve years, before his election to Parliament in April 1967.

“In the Third Labour Government, Fraser served as Minister of Mines, Immigration, Postmaster General, and Associate Minister of Labour and Works. In the Fourth Labour Government, he served as Minister of Works and Development, Minister in Charge of the Earthquake and War Damages Commission, and Associate Minister of Energy.

“Fraser Colman played a proud role in New Zealand becoming nuclear-free.

“When Prime Minister Norman Kirk decided that the New Zealand Government should actively protest against the French nuclear testing programme at Moruroa, he sent the Royal New Zealand Navy frigates Otago and Canterbury into the testing zone in June 1973. Fraser Colman was on board as a demonstration of the seriousness with which the New Zealand Government viewed French nuclear testing.

“The presence of the frigates with a Cabinet Minister on board attracted considerable international attention, and was part of the international pressure which forced the French nuclear testing programme underground.

“In the death of Fraser Colman, New Zealand has lost a fine representative, the New Zealand Labour Party has lost a great friend and supporter, and Fraser’s family has lost a devoted husband and father.

“My condolences go to Fraser’s wife Noeline, who has been a magnificent supporter of Fraser and all he stood for, and to their daughters Ann, Lynda and Jeanette,” Helen Clark said.


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