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Wainui tangi to be held at Whatatutu

Whatatutu-born Maori All Black Sean Wainui, killed in a car accident on Monday, is on his way home.

Ikaroa-Rawhiti-based Green MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, speaking in Parliament last night, said Wainui, aged 25, would lay in his whare tipuna Mangatu Marae me Te Wainui Marae.

The MP, moving a unanimous motion in Parliament, said the House expressed its condolences and “aroha to the whanau pani at this time as whanau travel back to Whatatutu”.

“We particularly send our awhi and manaaki to his wife Paige and their tamariki Arahia and Kawariki.”

Wainui was respected for his contribution on the rugby field with Bay of Plenty, the Chiefs and the Maori All Blacks as well as in Te Ao Maori, and in his wider community.

He also played for Taranaki and the Crusaders.

Mrs Kerekere later said she was proud to move the motion “to farewell this young man from home whose legend was only just forming”.

“Ngā mihi aroha ki te whānau pani i tēnei wā pouri.”

Wainui's widow Paige wrote on her Instagram account, “we're on our way to Gizzy, bringing you home now baby,”

The couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary six weeks ago.

Wainui was born in Whatatutu but was raised in Auckland.

He first rose to prominence in rugby as a talented Takapuna Grammar School First 15 captain.

Wainui made his professional debut in Super Rugby alongside Richie Mo'unga at the age of 20, and played 10 times for the Maori Blacks.