23-year-old newly-wed suddenly passes

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Piripi Parker (Ngāti Toarangatira) suddenly passed last Sunday morning, aged 23. The tragic news comes barely a week after he married his high school sweetheart, Cian, leaving behind his two boys, Xavier (5) and Mason (3).  

The Hamilton-raised father of two, suffered cardiac arrest early Sunday morning. Despite the efforts made by emergency personnel, they were unable to revive him.

“Piripi was strong and healthy, he had asthma but no previous heart conditions. He was at a friend's house on the couch and they noticed he had stopped breathing and called the ambulance straight away. It was completely unexpected and devastating,” says his sister Ramari Kākā who spoke to Te Ao about the tragic event. 

Piripi married his high school crush Cian on 7 December 2019 - Photo / Supplied

Kākā describes her brother as “fiercely loyal.”

“As a partner, friend, brother, nephew, uncle and father. If you needed his help with something and he could do it, he would. He had a knack for brightening the room with his infectious laughter and silly jokes which made him loved by so many.

"He would always acknowledge the people he met and knew no matter where he was.” 

Piripi and whānau - Photo / Supplied

Parker attended Melville High school in his youth, and just recently passed his LBP (licensed building practitioner) to be a qualified builder. Parker was known as a “fun-loving person with a quirky personality.”

“He was an adventure seeker and loved spending time with friends, cousins usually making them laugh at the silly things he would do.

“He was a trickster and was always keen to have a good laugh, usually by playing pranks and taking embarrassing snaps of his younger brother Gus," says Kākā.

A GoFundMe account was created by Ramari and her husband Jevan, to help with funeral cost and to support his family. 

Piripi Parker will be laid to rest today at Whatawhata.