News 7 Sep 2020
The Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) acknowledges the passing of Dr. Joe Williams and reflects on his significant contribution to the health sector, to New Zealand, the Cook Islands - and most importantly the Pacific communities.
"It is with our deepest regret, to learn of the death of Dr. Joe Williams QSM, QSO as a result of COVID-19," said Fiso John Fiso (ONZM) Chair of PCF.
"Dr. Joe Williams (Dr. Joe), was dearly loved by all of the Pacific community here in New Zealand and in his beloved home country the Cook Islands, where he served in politics, and ultimately as Prime Minister.
"Dr. Joe was a faithful servant who served his Pacific community as a doctor, showing fearless courage to help others. He started with a medical practice in Glen Innes as a solo general practitioner, and built a large practice, the Mt Wellington Integrated Family Health Care Clinic, servicing around 15,000 patients in South Auckland.
"As well as helping those in his 'grassroots' communities, Dr. Joe also worked at a global level at the World Health Organisation (WHO) where he served on the executive for two years. At the WHO, he was instrumental in leading the elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem, which earned him a WHO Award of Appreciation.
"Dr. Joe was also awarded life membership, and was patron of the Pasifika Medical Association, where his nephew Dr. Kiki Maoate is President.
"We will feel the loss of Dr. Joe greatly, and honour him for his legacy to medicine, our fanau, communities and countries. May he rest in peace," concluded Mr. Fiso