Family loses second member to Covid

A Waikato family has lost a second loved one to Covid-19.

Nigel Te Hiko has died in Waikato Hospital, nearly two weeks after his brother Alan died in Auckland from the virus.

Nigel (54) is believed to have contracted Covid from Alan, who had worked at the Americold facility in Auckland.

Nigel was a respected historian and negotiator at the Raukawa Settlement Trust, which represents the south Waikato iwi's interests.

He is now the youngest person in New Zealand to die from Covid-19.

Nigel lived in Tokoroa and had been visited by his brother before Auckland's August lockdown.

On August 14 it was revealed that two people in Tokoroa had been infected with Covid. Health officials said these cases were linked to the new Auckland cluster.

The Te Hiko whānau, from Tokoroa, are now planning a funeral not a week after they buried older brother Alan last Thursday

Alan died in Auckland's Middlemore Hospital earlier this month.

He was a team leader at the Mt Wellington coolstore, and had worked alongside the index case of what was initially labelled the South Auckland cluster.

Michael Tonga worked under Alan Te Hiko and described his boss as a "natural born leader" who was always the hardest worker in the room but who also enjoyed rugby league banter - particularly about his favourite team, the Warriors.

"Words cannot express the honour and love we felt being invited to speak at the service and also to carry our leader [and] brother to his resting place," he wrote on Facebook.

There are now three deaths related to the Auckland August cluster - after Pacific health leader and Auckland GP Dr Joe Williams died on the same day as Alan Te Hiko. He too, had been in ICU for several weeks.

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