Derek Leonard Round, one of New Zealand's most distinguished journalists in the past 50 years, has died in suspicious circumstances.
Police confirmed on Friday that the man found dead at an address in Campbell Street, Whanganui on Thursday was Mr Round, 77. A homicide inquiry has been launched.
Mr Round, who was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2010, had a wide and distinguished list of accomplishments in a media career which began in the mid-1950s when he was editor of the Canterbury University student newspaper Canta.
In the 1960s he became the bureau chief in Singapore and Hong Kong for international news agency Reuters, and for four years from 1973 he was the Asia correspondent for the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA).
His work in Hong Kong was credited as playing a prominent role in presenting Asia to New Zealanders at a time when New Zealand was developing stronger links to the region.
Mr Round was the first New Zealand reporter accredited to Beijing, something he gained while accompanying then Prime Minister Robert Muldoon on the inaugural New Zealand prime ministerial visit to China.
He was also one of the last New Zealand journalists to leave Vietnam, flying to Hong Kong a fortnight before the Viet Cong took Saigon.
Mr Round later became political editor for NZPA and then its London correspondent before heading back to Wellington to serve as NZPA's editor for five years.He later served as Martinborough Community Board chairman, a member of the South Wairarapa Enterprise Board and Wairarapa Polytechnic Council, and as chairman of the New Zealand Portrait Gallery.
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