Jardon Thomas Te Hau: Father-of-4 killed in car collision on New Year's Eve remembered as 'wonderful dad'

Jardon Thomas Te Hau: Father-of-4 killed in car collision on New Year's Eve remembered as 'wonderful dad'
Jardon Thomas Te Hau was on his way to the Rhythm and Vines Festival with his 18-year-old brother-in-law when tragedy struck (Givealittle)

GISBORNE, NEW ZEALAND: A father-of-four from Gisborne who died beside his brother-in-law on New Year's Eve after being hit by a car is remembered by his family as a kind man and a great father. Tragic events occurred when Jardon Thomas Te Hau, who had just turned 31, and his 18-year-old brother-in-law were traveling along Back Ormond Road toward the Rhythm and Vines Festival.

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Te Hau's cousin Monique Smith said that aside from the fact that Jardon died almost immediately while his brother-in-law died after being transferred to the hospital, family and friends were unsure of the specifics of the car collision. Around 9.15 pm, emergency personnel was called to the site near Snowsill Road. The two were strolling down the street in the direction of the festival when they were struck.

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“Jardon lived life to the fullest,” the statement from his family said. “He was a colorful character with the biggest heart who would do anything for anyone. He was a wonderful dad to his four babies. He had a gentle soul and he will be dearly missed by his parents, siblings, partner and children.”

In order to assist with paying his funeral expenses, a Givealittle page has been created. So far, it has raised NZD 2,975 (around $1,885) when this article was published. According to Smith, the younger brother's family has asked that his name not be made public just yet.

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She claimed that Jardon, who turned 31 on Christmas Eve, was born, raised, and has spent his whole life in Gisborne. He was a former student of Gisborne Boys' High School. Prior to service on January 4 at 1 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Stout St in Gisborne, he will lie in state at his family's home. One family member said that she lost two family members on the same day. “This is all so heartbreaking,” she said. “I am pretty shattered. I had just finished work when I heard the news.”

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Drivers should exercise caution on the road, especially at an event where lots of people were walking, the family member advised. "Four days out of a year, our town is packed, so many that walk, drivers should be careful. My cousin lost the love of her life, the father of her babies. And [the younger man] was only 18. Drivers need to be more cautious. S**t like that shouldn’t happen at all. Nobody should be dying while going to a festival.”

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The impacts of the tragedy, according to Gisborne's deputy mayor Josh Wharehinga, are being felt throughout the East Coast community. “The thing about Gisborne, is it’s a close-knit city,” he said. If a resident did not know any of the impacted people, he added, they probably knew someone who did. According to a police spokesperson, investigations into the crash's circumstances are still ongoing.

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