A young New Zealand woman has died while on her honeymoon in Vanuatu.

Aucklander Joy Ramirez's family and friends are in shock at the death of the high-flyer who ran her own media company and has written a children's book.

Ramirez married her husband Matt in March and it's understood the couple had been in the island nation on their honeymoon this week, when Ramirez died in an accident.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said it is providing consular assistance to the family.


As well as being a published author, Ramirez, who had a bachelor of communications majoring in television production from Auckland University of Technology, has worked in events, marketing, PR and sponsorship management in Auckland, Wellington and Australia.

She also has a background as a singer and songwriter and was working on developing a sequel to her first children's book, Toot - The World's Tiniest Whale, which was published in 2015.

Newstalk ZB host Tim Roxborogh remembered the first day he met Ramirez in their communications class at the Auckland University of Technology.

"I was amazed at how beautiful this person called Joy was. If ever somebody embodied the name their parents chose for them it was her. She was so positive, so full of possibilities, so full of joy."

Roxborogh said over the 17 years since they were students together they maintained a friendship and caught up a few times a year.

"If she wanted to organise bands and music tours, that's what she did. If she wanted to work in TV, that's what she did. If she wanted to be a published children's author, that's what she did."

He said over the years she made goals - and achieved them.

New Zealand children's author Joy Ramirez has died while honeymooning in Vanuatu.
New Zealand children's author Joy Ramirez has died while honeymooning in Vanuatu.

Roxborogh even credited Ramirez for helping him rekindle his relationship with the love of his life.

"She was one of three friends who weren't just an ear, but she actually said you should get back with her and told me why."

He said hearing the news Ramirez had died was "heartbreaking" and he wanted to pass on his condolences to the family.

"Love and prayers to Matt, love and prayers to Joy's family and friends."

In an online profile Ramirez said of her book: "Toot only grows when he has the courage to jump out of his little fish bowl and follow his heart.

"For me, jumping out of my fishbowl was leaving my corporate job and learning how to write children's stories. I threw myself in the deep end, and just gave it a go."

In a blog post from January 2017 Ramirez said, "when I set out on making my first children's book I knew it would be hard to get my first book published without having any track record, so I decided to set up a publishing company and to do it myself".

"I have a long term 10 year plan where I want to create lots of children's entertainment products, starting with books then moving on to children's TV shows / web series."

The Toot the whale Instagram account shows Ramirez travelling with a knitted whale smaller than the size of her thumbnail.

A post from four days ago shows Toot 'playing castaway on an island picnic in paradise!'.