Obituary - Tony Johns

posted: 2:00 pm - 22nd December 2017

Advocate for Pacific communities Tony Johns has sadly passed away at his home in Wellington.

 During his life service to the Pacific communities in New Zealand, Tony played a significant role in the establishment of MPIA, and was a mentor to many Pacific public servants and community leaders.

In 1984, the Labour Government first appointed a Minister of Pacific Island Affairs (the Hon. Richard Prebble), and the following year, a Pacific Island Unit was established in the Department of Internal Affairs.

Tony headed this unit, which was responsible for monitoring the implementation of policy and delivery services for Pacific peoples in other government ministries and departments. 

He also contributed significantly to the Pacific region, including drafting the constitutions of Tokelau, Niue and the Marshall Islands, and served as a commentator and advisor to other nation leaders.

Having helped form MPIA, Tony was tasked with establishing Pacific Business Trust (PBT), and he was also a former Senior Executive (DCE level) for Justice and Health.

Underpinning his work was the intention of promoting Pacific issues and talent including the establishment of GELS/CEG (Department of Labour) programmes and the promotion of Pacific languages, in NZ and throughout the region.

Tony’s contribution to the Pacific people in NZ and abroad will always be remembered.

The Ministry for Pacific Peoples would like to extend our condolences to Tony’s family and friends.

A funeral for Tony will be held next Friday, after Christmas, at Pipitea Marae, from 11am.