Condolences and tributes from abroad have flowed in for the late Sir Toke Talagi.
The Governor-General of New Zealand Dame Patsy has expressed her condolences to the people of Niue.
Dame Patsy conferred Sir Toke’s knighthood when she and Sir David visited Niue in 2017
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has extended New Zealand’s condolences.
“We extend our condolences to his family and to the people of Niue. Sir Toke was an elder statesman of the Pacific and a long and close friend to New Zealand,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“He will be remembered for his lifelong commitment to safeguarding Niue’s future security and prosperity, as demonstrated by his steadfast championing of sustainable economic development, education, and the protection of Niue’s taoga (cultural treasures).
“I spoke with Sir Toke only a few months ago. We talked about Niue’s Covid response, the people of Niue and his recent book. He was fiercely proud of Niue, and rightly so. It was a place he dedicated his life and service to.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Niue,” Jacinda Ardern said.
New Zealand’s former Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully also conveyed his condolences.
“Sir Toke was an uncompromising advocate for Niue and its people. He saw a future for Niue that was increasingly self-sufficient and was prepared to make the brave decisions that could make this goal a reality. Niue’s fortunes were turned around during his period of leadership, creating a pathway towards a stronger more secure nation. In the eight and a half years I worked with him he was a great partner and a great friend. Despite the recent covid19 setbacks he leaves a huge legacy in the form of a more confident and stronger Niue.” Said McCully
New Zealand’s Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs Fletcher Tabuteau posted “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Niue, and with the family of Niue’s former Premier, Sir Toke Talagi.
US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa Scott Brown paid tribute online.
“Saddened to hear about the passing of my friend Sir Toke Talagi, former Premier of Niue. He was a formidable statesman and champion for his people. My condolences to his family, and the people of Niue.”