IFJ Mourns Death of Radio New Zealand Journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the New Zealand Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) in expressing grief over the death of Radio New Zealand bulletin editor Phillip Cottrell, who died from injuries sustained in an assault in Wellington on December 10.


Cottrell, who had also worked for the BBC in his native Scotland, was badly beaten and had his wallet stolen while on his way home shortly after finishing a night shift at 5:30am on December 10. He was found lying unconscious on a central Wellington street by a taxi driver at approximately 5:40am.


Cottrell suffered severe brain damage and serious injuries as a result of the attack, which police say was random and unprovoked. He failed to regain consciousness and died at Wellington Hospital a day later.


“Our thoughts are with our colleagues at Radio New Zealand at this time of their terrible loss,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.


“Phillip Cottrell’s death serves as a reminder that even in a relatively safe country such as New Zealand, the important work of journalists is not without dangers.” 


A 30-person team of police investigating the incident, which is being treated as a homicide, are reviewing CCTV footage and calling for any eyewitnesses to come forward with information about the attack.


For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries


Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific


Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific