Former Bachelorette NZ contestant Tavita Karika has died suddenly.

Fellow Bach contestant Marc Johnson confirmed to Stuff that Karika had died on Thursday night in Wellington, speaking on behalf of his friend’s family.

Karika, 31, was a contestant in last year’s season of the Bachelorette NZ as well as having starred in Heartbreak Island in 2018.

Johnson told the outlet that Karika passed away around midnight on Thursday night, recalling that he wasn’t sure of the exact time “because it was just too emotional”.

“I got there about 10 minutes into the ambulance crew being at the scene, and about 10 to 15 minutes after that they informed us that they cannot help him,” Johnson said.

“I was with him in his final moments. There was a lot of family and friends.”

Formerly from Christchurch, the personal trainer had been living in Johnsonville in Wellington. He’d just finished his barber’s apprenticeship and had cut Johnson’s hair the day before his death.

Johnson said Karika’s death came as a shock. The pair had been best friends since meeting on the Bachelorette.

“His birthday was next month. He was in a very happy point in his life … that was one of the last things that he said to me a few days ago.

“He cut my hair on Wednesday and did such an amazing job and that was the last time I saw him. He was a good guy and he loved everyone.”

Johnson also shared a tribute to his friend on his Instagram story earlier today.

“RIP to my brother I love you and you looked at peace at the end,” he wrote.


If you are worried about your or someone else’s mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call 111.

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: 0800 111 757


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Call or text 1737


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