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Sean Wainui's death being treated by coroner as suspected suicide

By AAP
(Photo by Pete Dovgan/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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The death of New Zealand Super Rugby player Sean Wainui last week is being treated as a suspected suicide, a coroner said.

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Wainui died on October 18 in what police described as a single vehicle accident.

Police said Wainui’s vehicle struck at tree at McLaren Falls Park near Tauranga on the North Island.

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All Blacks react to 104-14 victory over USA Eagles in Washington DC
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All Blacks react to 104-14 victory over USA Eagles in Washington DC

In a statement on Tuesday, Coroner Louella Dunn said Wainui’s death is being investigated as a suicide.

The All Blacks performed a haka in tribute to Wainui before their test match against the United States in Washington on Saturday, pausing for 11 seconds in reference to Wainui’s jersey number.

The 25-year-old Wainui played Super Rugby for the Hamilton-based Chiefs and Christchurch-based Crusaders and was a New Zealand Maori representative.

His death is likely to fuel new concerns about the mental health support available to elite athletes after the suicide earlier this year of Olympic cyclist Olivia Podmore.

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The death of the 24-year-old Podmore in August sparked an independent inquiry into how Cycling New Zealand and High Performance New Zealand responded to a 2018 report, which found a culture of bullying and other inappropriate behaviour in the high-performance cycling program.

WHERE TO GET HELP

• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 or 09 5222 999 within Auckland (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 ,free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat.
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757
• SAMARITANS – 0800 726 666

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Sean Wainui's death being treated by coroner as suspected suicide

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