“The former Cook Islands Prime Minister and prominent doctor, Joe Williams, has died in Auckland after contracting Covid-19.
“The 82 year old had been admitted to hospital on 13 August and passed away last night.
“Dr Williams' death is the second this week associated to the latest Auckland outbreak of the coronavirus.
“In a statement, the Ministry of Health said Dr Williams' death brings the total number of people who have died from the coronavirus in New Zealand to 24.
“The Pasifika Medical Association announced his passing, saying he was a well-respected and much loved man.
“Dr Williams spent 25 years in the Cook Islands and served as a Cabinet Minister between 1974 and 1978 and again between 1994 1996 before becoming Prime Minister in 1999.
“Current Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna said Dr Williams' passing had caused him great sadness.”
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