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A Tribute To Hon Brian Donnelly QSO

25 September 2008

A Tribute To Hon Brian Donnelly QSO

New Zealand First has paid tribute to former MP, Brian Donnelly, who died this afternoon at the Mercy Hospice in Ponsonby Auckland, after an illness.

Mr Donnelly was born in Auckland in November 1949 and was educated at Sacred Heart College, Auckland, to which he won a boarding scholarship.

He attended Auckland and Massey Universities, gaining a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, Master of Educational Administration, Diploma in Teaching and Diploma in Second Language Teaching.

He worked in the education field for 25 years before being elected to Parliament in the first MMP election (1996) and immediately became the Minister of ERO, Associate Minister of Education and Associate Minister of Pacific Island Affairs.

Mr Donnelly's goals during his time in Parliament were to be an advocate for the people of Northland, for teachers and for children.

After his career in politics Mr Donnelly was appointed High Commissioner to the Cook Islands because of his personal and professional links with the people there.

In his youth, Mr Donnelly was an active sportsman. In rugby league he represented Auckland, Northland, NZ Universities and NZ Colts, and was a Kiwi trialist on several occasions. He also represented the Cook Islands in rugby union.

Rt Hon Winston Peters described Mr Donnelly as a man of great intellect and compassion for humanity.

“He was always committed to improving the lot of children and their teachers. They had a tireless advocate in Brian who felt the future of New Zealand lay with those with the care of our children in their hands.

“He was a committed colleague and a wonderful friend. Our thoughts are with his wife and family,” said Mr Peters.

ENDS

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