Bachelorette NZ: Dr Lesina Nakhid-Schuster pays tribute to late Tavita Karika

Former New Zealand Bachelorette Dr Lesina Nakhid-Schuster has paid tribute to one of her contestants who died suddenly last week.

Tavita Karika, a personal trainer and barber, died on Thursday night at the age of 31, leaving his friends and family devastated.

After learning the sad news, Dr Nakhid-Schuster remembered Tavita for his sense of humour and bravery in speaking about mental health issues.

'Rest in peace, Tavita': Former New Zealand Bachelorette Dr Lesina Nakhid-Schuster (pictured) has paid tribute to one of her contestants who died suddenly last week

'Rest in peace, Tavita': Former New Zealand Bachelorette Dr Lesina Nakhid-Schuster (pictured) has paid tribute to one of her contestants who died suddenly last week

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'I wanted to take some time to think about what I wanted to say,' she wrote on Instagram Stories. 

'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.'

Tragedy: Tavita Karika (pictured), a personal trainer and barber, died in Wellington on Thursday night at the age of 31, leaving his friends and family devastated

Tragedy: Tavita Karika (pictured), a personal trainer and barber, died in Wellington on Thursday night at the age of 31, leaving his friends and family devastated

Instagram tribute: After learning the sad news, Dr Nakhid-Schuster remembered Tavita for his sense of humour and bravery in speaking about mental health issues

Instagram tribute: After learning the sad news, Dr Nakhid-Schuster remembered Tavita for his sense of humour and bravery in speaking about mental health issues

Dr Nakhid-Schuster continued: 'My heart goes out to Tavita's loved ones. Having had the pleasure of meeting Tavita, I know what a truly devastating loss this is.

'Rest in peace, Tavita.' 

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