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'Compassionate and charismatic' - Winston Peters pays tribute to Bob Hawke on behalf of New Zealand

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has passed on his condolences on behalf of New Zealand in the wake of former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s death.

Mr Hawke died at his Sydney home yesterday aged 89, his wife Blanche d’Alpuget has confirmed.

"We extend our condolences to his family and to the people of Australia. Bob Hawke was an extraordinary and talented Australian who made a major contribution to his country," Mr Peters said in a statement.

"Bob Hawke epitomised a fair go for all Australians. He approached politics with a can-do attitude and will be remembered for being talented, compassionate and charismatic," he said.

Hawke was the longest serving Labour Prime Minister in Australian history.

A former union leader, Bob Hawke served as Prime Minister from 1983 to 1991.

His wife Blanche said his role in helping end Apartheid in South Africa was among his proudest achievements.

His death comes two days out from the Australian election.

A memorial service will be held in Sydney in coming weeks for the man described as the 'Silver Budgie'.

Other tributes have also come from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Mr Hawke dominated the country’s politics in the 1980s and is credited with modernising the economy.
Source: Breakfast