The wife of a senior New Zealand police officer has
drowned during a holiday in Rarotonga.
A close friend who tried to save Judith "Judy" Lorraine
Palmer, 62, from a lagoon yesterday also drowned.
Mrs Palmer was the wife of Chief Inspector John Palmer.
Close family friend Robert "Bob" Groves, 64, was also there
with his own wife for the wedding, police said.
The couple were neighbours in Auckland's Birkenhead.
Mrs Palmer had been swimming in a lagoon near where she was
The bodies of Mrs Palmer and Mr Groves were recovered about
half an hour after the tragedy, police said.
The group was in Vaimaanga, Rarotonga for the Palmers'
daughter's wedding, which was scheduled for today but has
since been postponed.
Auckland City District Commander Superintendent Mike Clement
said: "We are all reeling from the news and can only imagine
the magnitude of the devastation John, his family and the
Groves family are feeling.
"I know personally that the trip to Rarotonga for Vanessa's
wedding was to be the highlight of the year for John and Judy
and that much planning and anticipation surrounded it.
"I and Commissioner Peter Marshall have spoken with John on
several occasions in the past 24 hours and have offered our
absolute support and assistance to help him, his daughter and
their friends through this very distressing time.
"Commissioner Marshall has also spoken to the Commissioner of
the Cook Islands Police and thanked him for the support he is
giving to the Chief Inspector and his family.''
John and Judy Palmer had been married for 42 years.
Chief Inspector Palmer has served with New Zealand Police for
nearly 47 years, much of which has been in Auckland City