September 07, 2020
Leadership the legacy of Dr Joe Williams
Former Cook Islands Prime Minister and South Auckland General Practitioner Joe Williams is being remembered as a true leader who also insisted on acknowledging tangata whenua.
Dr Williams died in Auckland on Friday of COVID-19.
He was 85.
Simon Royal, the Chief Executive of the National Hauora Coalition, says Dr Williams put himself at the forefront of Pacific Island health leadership and rose to meet an challenge governments threw at his community.
He was a presence at every Pacific Island event.
"Joe crossed a lot of boundaries because he was more than a GP. For him doctoring was more than just a job, it was a vocation and calling he had, but his leadership really was his real job. He was always quick to acknowledge Māori as being the leaders in this country and had a close connection to many many Māori in New Zealand," Mr Royal says.
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