Daniel Faitaua's brother Anthony passes away after battle with cancer

TVNZ Europe correspondent Daniel Faitaua's brother has died of cancer.

In a post on Instagram, Faitaua said Anthony passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family.

"I am feeling emptiness and pain. I am heartbroken. The coronavirus outbreak is adding to the heartbreak because I can't get home and be with family. Saying goodbye to someone you love is always hard but it's harder when you're on the other side of the world."

He said that the last six months hadn't been taken for granted "as we've discovered the true bond of brotherhood through our separate journeys".

He had been face-timing and Instagramming his daily excursions and seen his brother's daily achievements "of making every minute count".

"My boys even sent videos to their uncle to say 'hi' and check how he's doing before swamping him with clips from band practice, school class council, sporting success and new places they've visited. Anthony was protective, loyal and always put others first.

"He has, will and always inspire me to have courage and be kind.

"I will miss him so much."

Seven Sharp presenter Hilary Barry offered her condolences to Faitaua.

"Darling Daniel, sending so much love to you and your family," she wrote.

Faitaua was appointed TVNZ's Europe Correspondent last year, and the former Breakfast host spoke about his brother's cancer battle when he farewelled his morning television colleagues in August.

"It's been a bittersweet farewell," he explained on-air at the time.

"My brother is dying of cancer at the moment, so for the last week, we've been spending time with him by his bedside at the hospital.

"He's the one who said to me go back at finish your last show [on TVNZ's Breakfast]."

New Zealand is currently in Level Four of the Covid-19 alert system.

On Monday, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the four-week lockdown, veteran TVNZ employee Bill Henderson died after a battle with cancer.

"If we didn't do something by today ... they were going to have [to] keep the body for a month or something," his wife Cherly Henderson said.

"So we knew that we had to move quickly and it was very hard to get everything together and, of course, it was only a very small gathering."

The funeral directors scrambled to get up to speed with the quickly changing regulations, and the family was able to hold a small service yesterday afternoon.

Daughter, Coral Bond, said the next month was going to be very strange and they would have to do lots of their grieving online.

"Normally part of the grief journey is you get together, you know? But we've got to do it online."

Bill Henderson worked at TVNZ for 42 years and leaves five children and 15 grandchildren. The family plans to hold a memorial service for his wider group of friends and family at a later date.

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.