Bay of Plenty police issued a statement this morning saying one person had died after a single-vehicle crash at McLaren Falls Park.
Police were notified that a car had crashed into a tree at around 7.50am. A family member confirmed to NZME that 25-year-old Wainui was the driver.
He was the sole occupant of the vehicle and died at the scene.
The Serious Crash Unit attended the scene, and enquiries into the circumstances of the crash are ongoing.
Tauranga City Council said in a media statement the park would be closed today due to the crash and emergency services were at the scene.
A St John spokeswoman said two ambulances were called to the scene.
Wainui played 53 games for Taranaki before shifting to Bay of Plenty this year. He also played 44 games for the Chiefs, nine for the Crusaders and represented New Zealand Māori since 2015.
In June he scored five tries in a Super Rugby Transtasman victory over the Waratahs, the first player to ever do so in Super Rugby history.