Ted Tamai left his Hastings home on Wednesday to do what he loved best: ride his bike and enjoy the morning sun.

Tragically, it would be his last ride.

The cyclist collided with a car at the intersection of Omahu Rd and State Highway 50A, Frimley at 10.15am. He died shortly after emergency services arrived at the scene.

Tamai's granddaughter Jess Langley, 26, said cycling was part of his daily routine and he cycled every day from 10am to 11am.


"He was pretty fit for a 72-year-old, and a passionate athlete growing up."

Tamai was a talented boxer and represented Rotorua for rugby as a young man.

Langley said her grandfather had a cheeky smile that could light up any room, and spent a lot of time at his local pub singing karaoke. "He loved singing. He sung anything and everything."

The 26-year-old was at home when she heard the news of his death. "It's sad the way he died. It's pretty horrific, but there's not a lot you can do.

"He died doing something he loved."

She wanted people to remember Tamai for his zest for life and love of his family.

His wife was being supported by friends and family of Tamai, as most of her family lived in the Philippines, Langley said.

Tamai was semi-retired, teaching free boxing classes and working a few days a week at a local fruit packhouse.

Friends of Tamai remembered him as a loyal man with a giving heart on Facebook.

His burial would be on January 15 at 11am at Parawai Marae in Rotorua.

A police spokeswoman said the Serious Crash Unit investigation was continuing.

She added their thoughts were with Tamai's family and friends at this time.