Authorities desperately seeking family of deceased elderly Maori man in Samoa

A sad find for the staff of Rita's Lodge in Lotopa, Apia - an elderly Māori man found dead in his room.

Local police identified the man as 70-year-old Māori male, they believe he was in Samoa on holiday.

Police say they were called to Rita's Lodge on Sunday 5 January when the deceased was found. They also say it appeared that the man had recently had an operation from the scarring on his chest.

Lodge staff confirmed the man had checked in on December 22 and had planned to stay for a whole month. When it appeared that he didn't look well, the man told the staff he had an operation in NZ and travelled to Samoa to rest and recover.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in NZ has told Te Ao that;

"The New Zealand High Commission in Apia is aware of the death of a New Zealand citizen in Samoa. Due to privacy considerations, no further details will be provided."

The NZ Police have also said:

"We don't have detail on the death as that would be the jurisdiction of Samoan authorities. 
However, Police do have a role to play when a person dies overseas in identifying, locating and advising next of kin and we are working through this process now."