'Incredibly saddened' - Simon Bridges offers 'solidarity' to family of Kiwi woman Abby Hartley who died in Bali

National Party leader Simon Bridges paid tribute to Abby Hartley, after the New Zealand woman died in Bali after falling ill. 

"I'm incredibly saddened for the family, for Richard and his children. It’s just an awful situation," Mr Bridges said.

"My solidarity and my thoughts to Richard and his family."

Mr Bridges told media today he had only played a minor role organising trying to get Ms Hartley back to New Zealand, but it was "about trying to do the right thing and make sure money wasn’t the prohibiting factor".

Mr Bridges had offered to play a facilitating role after "concerned New Zealanders" approached him, wanting to donate $170,000 to facilitate the medevac which would see Mrs Hartley returned to New Zealand.

The Government would not intervene with a medevac. 

Foreign Minister Winston Peters wrote to the family last month: "I have to confirm that the New Zealand Government is unable to fund the costs of medical care of evacuations for New Zealanders who become ill while overseas," reported NZ Herald. 

Mr Bridges said he did not know if he would have handled the situation different if he were to be in Government.

"I can understand what the Prime Minister and Winston Peters have said about precedents", however he said Labour and National Governments break precedents "all the time".

"But they're really things for the Prime Minister, I don't seek to play politics about this, it's very much about grieving for Abby and for this family to have a bit of space to do that."

Ms Hartley, of Hamilton, was put into an induced coma while on holiday in Bali after she suffered a twisted bowel, went into acute respiratory distress syndrome and then developed a chest infection which led to a collapsed lung.

The National leader had played a “minor” role in trying to get Kiwi Abby Hartley back home. Source: 1 NEWS