Popular television star builder and renovator John 'Cocksy' Cocks has lost his battle to kidney cancer.

The 52-year-old has been battling the disease since April, 2016, when he was diagnosed on Anzac Day.

The much-loved reality TV star died yesterday.

Known by his nickname Cocksy, he appeared in several do-it-yourself programmes and television series starting in the late 90s.


He starred in April's Angels - alongside presenter and former Silver Fern April Ieremia - My House My Castle, Celebrity Treasure Island and Cocksy's Day Off.

In a classifieds notice running in the Herald tomorrow, the Cocks family called their son "NZ's much-loved builder and handyman.''

"Peacefully, at his special place in Tairua, with the people he loved, on 6th February 2019, aged 52 years.

"Loved soulmate and husband of Dana. Much loved dad of Georgia, Ella and Sophie, and loyal sidekick of Biggie Smalls.''

Cocks is the eldest son of Joan and Reg and brother to Jane and Stuart (Pid).

Another family notice ended with the words: "[Gone] surfing, fishing or using a very loud power tool - or all of the above.''

News of his death came as a shock to his former employer, TVNZ.

In a statement provided to the Herald, the network paid tribute to a much-loved personality - not just among colleagues but someone who was just as popular with viewers.


"John 'Cocksy' Cocks appeared in some of TVNZ's biggest shows.

"He was loved by viewers who appreciated his can-do attitude, his honesty and his warmth.

"Our deepest sympathies are with John's family and friends.''


Broadcaster Melanie Homer, who co-presented TV series My Dream Room: Kids Edition a few years ago called her former colleague "an absolute legend.''

In a tribute on her Instagram page, she said: "Hours of laughs working together on Dream Room Kids Edition.

"We stayed in the shonkiest B&Bs you can imagine - one had an avocado green bath in the middle of the (carpeted) room, which we both had to take photos of each other in (clothed) while giggling hysterically and trying not to let the owner hear us.

"Every now and again, over the years, my phone would ping with a random rant or joke from Cocksy. I'll miss that. One of the good guys - RIP.''

In March, 2017, the Herald on Sunday revealed the devoted father-of-three was battling kidney cancer.

He was also given the news that he had three years to live.

The cancer was initially in his kidneys before spreading to his lungs and spine.

Cocks made headlines after revealing he was taking the controversial water-based Te Kiri Gold cancer treatment.

Independent tests commissioned by the Herald at the time revealed the product did not meet the Government's safe drinking guidelines.

However, that did not deter the reality TV star, who said: "I feel a million bucks. I have put on weight and have so much more energy.''

Cocks - dad to Georgia, Sophie and Ella - married partner Dana Coote at an intimate ceremony on Tairua Beach in June, 2017.

After his diagnosis, Cocksy started ticking off a bucket list he wanted to complete - including buying a new surfboard, building his dream home in Tairua, taking surfing trips to the Islands and marrying the love of his life.

He said at the time: "The problem with a shortened life span, you think: 'What are the important things you should do'? For me and Dana, it was to get married.''