A former head of the Rotorua CIB has been remembered as a "gorgeous, fun loving person" following his death.

Detective Inspector Garth Bryan, 51, died this morning after fighting cancer for near six years.

Detective Steve Allpress, who was recently diagnosed with aggressive brain tumours, last week told the Rotorua Daily Post he had been drawing inspiration from Mr Bryan, a former colleague, who was told a few years ago he didn't have long to live.

Mr Bryan's former colleague and good friend, Rotorua police area executive officer Wendy Wrigley said he died peacefully at home in Wellington with his wife Julia and his two sons, Jarrod and Michael by his side.


Mr Bryan was the head of the Rotorua CIB for five years before taking on the role of regional crime services manager in 2005.

He was later promoted to Wellington to work for the Police Professional Standards' Unit.
Mr Bryan had 30 years with the force under his belt, in a career that saw him stationed in Wellington, Auckland, Hawke's Bay, Taranaki and Rotorua.

Mrs Wrigley said he continued to work right up until the last few months of his life as often as he could.

She said he had his first bout of cancer in 2010. It was renal cancer, meaning it was in his blood stream. Eventually he got tumours in his brain and it spread throughout his whole system.

She said he was operated on and was fine for three years, but then the disease returned.
He did a lot of things to fight it including natural juicing, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and steroid treatment.

"That's why he lasted two years longer than they predicted," Mrs Wrigley said.

"He was also a really good tennis player and competed in top grades in Auckland and was a member of the New Zealand police team that went to Australia.

"He was just a gorgeous fun loving person and was well liked among the staff."

During his career in Rotorua Mr Bryan worked on many high profile cases including the unsolved 1975 Mona Blades mystery, and the murder of Tokoroa school teacher Lois Dear.

- Additional reporting Kelly Makiha