A school has paid tribute to a former student and popular Nelson teen who died after falling through the roof of a cathedral in Wellington.

Emergency services were called to Wellington Cathedral of St Paul at 11.30pm on Friday.

They found 18-year-old Finn O'Neill-Stevens had fallen 10 to 12 metres through the roof, sustaining "very serious, multiple trauma injuries," Wellington Free Ambulance spokesman Daniel Paul said.

He was taken to Wellington Hospital where he was put on life support, but died yesterday.


A representative from the cathedral said there were two boys on the roof when the incident happened, both students from Victoria University's halls of residence.

Though the teen was not known to members of the cathedral, a representative said everyone involved has been affected.

She said they were not concerned with the damage to the building.

"We're more concerned about the damage to the boy's family," she said.

Nelson College head Gary O'Shea said the loss of his former student was "a principal's worst nightmare".

"It's a very tragic loss," he said. "They're all precious but he was a particularly popular young man pretty much liked by anyone."

Mr O'Shea said he had not yet spoken to O'Neill-Stevens' parents but confirmed they had played an active role in his schooling.

"[Nelson] is a small community. He played hockey and his mum was the physio," he said.


"It's that type of small provincial city... students and members of staff are part of that family."

Nelson College observed a minute's silence this morning in memory of O'Neill-Stevens.

Victoria University Hockey Club captain Matt Wilson said he was saddened to hear of the death of the former club member.