Death of All Blacks star Sean Wainui treated as a 'suspected suicide'

All Blacks star’s car crash death is ‘being treated as a suspected suicide’ – shock twist comes just days after wife’s heartbreaking tribute as he was laid to rest

  • Maori All Black died in a crash in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty region last week
  • His death is ‘being treated as a suspected suicide’ the Coroner has confirmed
  • Super Rugby star was laid to rest in a funeral in Gisborne just two days earlier 
  • Coroner has placed interim suppression orders around the details of his death 

The death of the Maori All Blacks star who was killed in a horror car crash last week is being investigated as a suspected suicide. 

Super Rugby star Sean Wainui, 25, died in a car accident near Tauranga in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty region last week.

Coroner Louella Dunn has confirmed to the NZ Herald his death ‘is being treated as a suspected suicide’ just days after Wainui’s funeral took place in Gisborne. 

Ms Dunn has made provisional suppression orders around the circumstances of the player’s death meaning no further details can be released. 

The death of Maori All Blacks star Sean Wainui (pictured) who was killed in a tragic car crash last week is being investigated as a suspected suicide, a Coroner has confirmed

The revelation comes just days after his grieving wife Paige (pictured) posted an emotional tribute to her husband after she finally laid his body to rest.

The revelation comes just days after his grieving wife Paige posted an emotional tribute to her husband after she finally laid his body to rest on Sunday. 

The mother-of-two posted an Instagram Story in which she is pictured smiling alongside her husband as he plays guitar.

‘Laying you to rest yesterday was the hardest thing I have and will ever do in my entire life,’ Paige wrote. ‘Missing you so much, my baby, love you forever.’ 

Paige also posted a photo of a shoreline with the words, ‘Not a second goes by where I’m not thinking of you, my baby, right by your favourite place in the world.

‘I know you’re looking over us forever.’  


The heartbroken widow posted two emotional tributes to her husband’s after the funeral, as it’s revealed just days later his death ‘is being treated as a suspected suicide’

The couple (pictured) celebrated their one year wedding anniversary just six weeks ago 

It comes as the second tribute the grieving mum has posted since her husband died, with the pair only celebrating their one year wedding anniversary six weeks ago. 

Paige previously posted a video to Instagram as her husband’s body was being readied for his return to Gisborne.

It showed her watching almost two dozen men perform a ceremonial Maori haka while she tightly held her two children, son Kawariki, 2, and stepdaughter Arahia.

‘This pain is unbearable Kei te hoki koe ki tō whenua taurikura my baby māku koe e arahi. I know you’re waiting for us,’ she wrote.

‘We’re on our way to gizzy [Gisborne] bringing you home now baby.’

The Maori words roughly translate as ‘you’re returning to your home, I will lead you’. 

Paige previously posted a video of almost two dozen men performed the haka for her family as her husband’s body was readied for his return to Gisborne

The All Blacks paid tribute to Wainui by pausing the haka before the Test match against USA in Washington on Saturday, with captain Sam Whitelock (middle) leading the side

Wainui’s heartbroken wife Paige said she was in ‘absolute pieces and in so much pain knowing my whole other half to me has left this earth’ (pictured, the couple on their wedding day)

The All Blacks honoured him by pausing while performing the haka before the team’s Test match against the USA in Washington DC on Saturday.

The team stopped for 11 seconds to pay tribute to the the No.11 jersey Wainui wore for the team, with caption Sam Whitelock leading the side. 

Meanwhile, Wainui’s family released a statement.

‘We just want to thank everyone for their love and generosity. The beautiful tributes that have come from those who loved him all across the world means a lot to us all.

‘We understand there are many hurting right now and wanting to hear from the whānau, but please respect that we have just lost our baby brother, a son, a husband and a father and our focus right now is healing and laying my brother to rest.’

The rugby star’s wife has honoured her loved one by receiving a tā moko on her ring finger in a design similar to her husband’s, by the same artist that tattooed Wainui. 

‘I don’t have the words right now or could begin to describe the feeling of losing you baby all I know is I don’t wish this on anyone,’ she wrote in the caption. 

‘I’m in absolute pieces and in so much pain knowing my whole other half to me has left this earth. 

‘It was truly a special moment as he did Sean’s mokowhiti to resemble our marriage and our tamariki.’ 


Paige has honoured her late husband by receiving a tā moko on her ring finger in a design similar to his, done by the same artist that tattooed Wainui (pictured)

‘It was truly a special moment as he did Sean’s mokowhiti to resemble our marriage and our tamariki,’ the player’s wife Paige captioned the Instagram video

At Wainui’s tangi, a Maori word for a ceremonial funeral or wake, his coach Colin Cooper delivered a teary tribute to the player and said ‘he was a star’. 

‘I was so proud of him, he took every ball and we were able to carry on and win the case because he inspired, he inspired us with his attributes on the field,’ he said.

Wainui’s father Paul said his heart was beginning to heal following the loss of his son, saying: ‘I don’t wish any parent to bury their own child especially this age, [but] God gives and God takes.’ 

The 25-year-old’s brother said he ‘will always remain close to our hearts’ adding the four siblings had ‘held each other like the walls of a whare’, meaning a Maori house.

The former under-20s New Zealand representative played 53 Super Rugby games for the Crusaders and current club the Chiefs.

Wainui made Super Rugby history in June by becoming the first player to score five tries in a match in a Trans-Tasman clash against the NSW Waratahs.

He also represented the Maori All Blacks on 10 occasions.

His Super Rugby club have remembered Wainui as a passionate, hard-working and proud Māori and exceptional player. 

Wainui (pictured with wife Paige and son Kawariki, 2) has been remembered by his Super Rugby Club as a passionate, hard-working and proud Māori and exceptional player 

The All Blacks star will be remembered by his wife Paige and his two children, son Kawariki, 2, and daughter Arahia (pictured)

Police inquiries into the fatal crash are continuing, with Coroner Louella Dunn confirming his death was ‘being treated as a suspected suicide’ on Tuesday. 

‘Police were notified that a car had crashed into a tree at around 7.50am,’ a police statement read.

‘The sole occupant of the vehicle died at the scene.

‘The Serious Crash Unit attended the scene, and enquiries into the circumstances of the crash are ongoing.’

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