Sir Richard Hadlee has bowel cancer.
Last month he had a routine, three-year colonoscopy where a tumour was discovered.
He has since had an operation to remove the tumour.
This operation went well and he has made an excellent recovery.
As a safeguard, further treatment in the form of chemotherapy will commence shortly and last for a few months.
His wife, Lady Dianne, said that it is expected Hadlee will make a full recovery over time.
"Our reasons for making this statement are a desire to be transparent, and to prevent the inevitable speculation and incorrect rumours.
"I would also request people's understanding and acceptance of our request for privacy while we go through the next few months, both for ourselves and for the extended Hadlee family."
More to come...
This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.