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Former Bachelorette New Zealand Star Tavita Karika Dead At 31: ‘What A Truly Devastating Loss’

A man who made memorable appearances on the first season of New Zealand’s The Bachelorette as well as Heartbreak Island has passed away.

Reality TV star and beloved personality Tavita Karika died late last week, according to family and friends who announced the heartbreaking news days ago. He was 31 years old.

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Karika’s mourning family first announced the news on the online fundraising site Givealittle, writing a brief statement announcing the horrible tragedy:

“With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our friend Tavita Antoni Karika. On the 29th of April 2021. Tavita took his last breath and with that our hearts. If you had the pleasure of knowing Tavita you will know just how difficult this is for his family, friends and all who loved him.”

Wow. Just awful.

At this time, according to E! News, the cause of the rising star’s abrupt death still not known. In the few days since Tavita’s awful passing, former co-stars on both The Bachelorette and Heartbreak Island have come forward on social media to express their condolences.

Marc Johnson, a Bachelorette alum, spoke to New Zealand-based Stuff about the tragedy, confirming it and adding:

“I can confirm that Tavita did pass last night around midnight. I can’t tell you if it was before or after because it was just too emotional, and before I knew it four or five hours had passed. I was with him in his final moments. There was a lot of family and friends. We’ve been best friends since we met on the show. His birthday was next month.”

That is so, so sad. Stuff further reported that Tavita had recently finished his barber’s apprenticeship, and was excited to start that phase of his working life. Johnson explained more about that, adding:

“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.”

Our hearts…

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Former Bachelorette lead Lesina Nakhid-Schuster shared memories of Tavita through a series of Instagram Stories over the weekend. In it, she delivered a heartfelt tribute to the former contestant, writing:

“Tavita was a hilarious man with the best chuckle, and the best one liners. I loved hearing how enthusiastic he was about looking after his mum, learning about his gym and food routines, and creating funny handshakes together. I also really admired him opening the doors on the topic of mental health and some of his hardest times. My heart goes out to Tavita’s loved ones. Having the pleasure of meeting Tavita, I know what a truly devastating loss this is.”

Very touching. Heartbreak Island alum and fellow former co-star Harry Jowsey was floored by news of Tavita’s death, and he shared his shock on social media:

“I love you Tavita. I still can’t process this, I’m numb. I don’t know what to say. Please check in on your friends, even if they say they are fine.”

And Bachelorette alum Glenn Richards shared a long, moving, emotional message on his own Instagram account, processing the shock of his friend’s passing and writing in part (below):

“We will remember your smile and your kind loving nature. … Tavita you were a Rock, a mountain of strength. … Brother I just want to thank you for everything & showing me your true loving self & kind nature. I will carry on in this life to do my best and be my best in honor of your name and everything you stood for, from one Personal trainer to another, I get you & I got you and will see you again one day brother, I love you so much, thanks for everything.”

Very touching. Here’s more from Richards’ public mourning (below):

Wow. Clearly, Karika impacted lots and lots of lives in a short time.

Rest In Peace…

[Image via Tavita Karika/Instagram]

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May 03, 2021 11:26am PDT

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