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Rediff News  All News  » News » Former New Zealand prime minister David Lange dies

Former New Zealand prime minister David Lange dies

August 14, 2005 17:28 IST

Former New Zealand prime minister David Lange, who led the country through a tumultuous period when it split with the United States over nuclear policy and battled France over the sinking of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, has died aged 63.

In a brief statement early on Sunday, the Lange family said he died late on Saturday night from complications of renal failure.

Lange was prime minister for five years from 1984, inheriting a country in economic trouble and presiding over a series of radical economic reforms, which alienated many of his Labour Party's traditional blue-collar



had suffered serious health problems for the past decade and had his right leg amputated below the knee in July following complications with diabetes.

In 1995 he underwent a quadruple heart bypass operation and in 2002, he was diagnosed with a rare incurable plasma disorder, amyloidosis, which causes a build-up

of excess protein from bone marrow and damages the organs.