Statement from NZ Government
Prime Minister John Key says today’s news that Sir Paul Holmes KNZM has passed away is the end of a broadcasting era.
“Paul Holmes was a gentleman broadcaster. He conducted his interviews with intelligence and insightfulness, and while he never suffered fools, his interviews were never without kindness and empathy,” says Mr Key. “He was a trailblazer in New Zealand journalism with a style that was all his own.
“I also counted him as a friend and I want to personally acknowledge the pain Deborah, Lady Holmes, Millie and Reuben are now feeling and offer my heartfelt condolences,” says Mr Key.
“Paul has been part of New Zealanders’ lives since the 1970s. For more than a decade he was compulsive viewing at 7pm and, up until very recently, he was still on Q&A and his radio show. It is hard to imagine a broadcasting spectrum without him.
“It was a privilege to be with him last month as he received his Knighthood for services to broadcasting – I cannot think of anyone who deserved this more.
“Farewell Sir Paul, you will be missed.”
Statement from NZ Labour Party
Labour Leader David Shearer has offered his condolences to the family of veteran broadcaster Paul Holmes, who died peacefully at his home this morning. “Paul was a true professional. He was hugely respected not only by his peers, but by New Zealanders across social and political spectrums.
“A pioneer of the talkback radio format, he was at the forefront of current affairs television and never shied from controversy. He had a fine sense of the ‘ordinary Kiwi’, along with an uncanny understanding of the issues of the day.
“What always struck me was his enthusiasm for his country. He was a passionate New Zealander who stood up for anyone willing to have a go.
“I got to know him a bit more personally in recent years. I saw him as a friend and frequently enjoyed a robust debate with him.
“Paul’s contribution to New Zealand’s media landscape was significant, and he will be deeply missed. My sympathy and thoughts are with his wife, Lady Deborah Holmes, his children Millie and Rueben and other family members,” said David Shearer.
Our thoughts today are with the family, friends and colleagues of Sir Paul Holmes. We may not have always seen eye to eye, but New Zealand has lost a broadcasting icon. – Len Brown
Sir Paul Holmes was a highly respected and committed board member of the Trust until his resignation in December due to ill health. Sir Paul’s keen interest in our work and his warm generosity of spirit were an inspiration to the staff and board of the Trust. We pay tribute to his caring and compassionate nature which led to his involvement in and support of our organisation. His presence around our board table will be sorely missed, but his contribution will be remembered for many years to come. – Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust
Rest in peace Sir Paul Holmes – Kim Dotcom
Sir Paul had a long and illustrious career with TVNZ and he has many friends here. He’s been part of the TVNZ family for so long – from our family to his we extend our deepest sympathy. Sir Paul redefined current affairs on New Zealand television for a generation and has been a leading light in the world of journalism in this country. His legacy will be remembered within TVNZ and across the industry for many years to come. – Kevin Kenrick, Chief Executive, TVNZ