Matthew Kyte had just made a fresh start in life when he died in a single-vehicle crash in Napier at the weekend.
The solo father-of-six was living in Auckland when he decided to make a lifestyle change and move his family back to his hometown, Napier, nine months ago.
His younger brother Daniel Kyte said the family was devastated as the 36-year-old was just starting to put his life back together again.
"He was a devoted father, he loved his kids and the Friday night before it happened was the first night we'd had a meal together in his house in ten years."
Matthew and Daniel had become business partners felling trees for a living shortly after he returned to Napier.
"We'd just finished a big job the day before and we were having a big celebration because it was the biggest contract we'd had."
He died at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Lamason Street in Greenmeadows at about 4.10am on Saturday morning.
Daniel said Matthew was a real character and was especially close to him, being his only full brother.
"He was always a loving person. He loved Star Trek and anything Science Fiction.
"As a kid he was always clumsy, always falling over his feet. He was strong-headed, he was pig-headed and he loved to argue with Dad."
Matthew is survived by his six children; Josiah, 11, Elly-May, 9, Amylia, 7, 5-year-old twins Grace and Gabby and 3-year-old Malachi.
"We've just had all the family turn up and it's the first time we've been together in 25 years," Daniel said.
"The kids don't understand. The eldest does and the second eldest is only just starting to ask questions. The rest of them don't understand."
Matthew was one of nine children, the third youngest boy, and was raised in Napier and attended Henry Hill School, Te Awa Primary School, Tamatea Intermediate and then Tamatea High School.
He married and spent five years in Australia before returning to New Zealand where he worked in the IT industry until recently.
Daniel said plans were now underway to farewell his brother at a funeral later this week.
He leaves behind his parents Ngaire and Pete, and his birth father Michael, as well as siblings Nathan, Tracey, Tasha, Marlene, Sandy, Rodney, Daniel and Sailem.
A police spokesperson said police extended their sympathies to the family and confirmed the Serious Crash Unit had been advised and inquires into the cause of the crash were ongoing.