Radio host and television presenter Melanie Homer has shared her memories of popular TV personality, builder John "Cocksy" Cocks, following his death to kidney cancer.

Cocks has been battling the disease since he was diagnosed on Anzac Day 2016.

The much-loved 52-year-old reality TV star died on Wednesday night.

Homer, who worked with Cocks, told The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on Newstalk ZB that Cocks was one of the good guys.


"Gosh, he was a dag. When I heard the news I was so sad because he was really one of the good guys.

"He was one of those guys you meet and you're just like, you're a good bugger and I really want to have a beer with you."

The pair worked together on the kids edition of My Dream Home, which Homer said was good fun.

"It was my introduction to television ... and Cocksy was an old hand at it, so he welcomed me in and he was great fun.

"We travelled around the country and stayed at some of the most ridiculous places. They put us up in, probably, the shonkiest B&Bs you can imagine.

"It would just be me and him because the crew would stay somewhere else.

"I don't know if they got better accommodation than us, but we would stay in these remote little B&Bs in the middle of nowhere ... and it would just be the two of us telling stories and having yarns and having a bit of a giggle."

COCKSY ... One of the kindest men on the planet - April’s Angels 1997 💙

Posted by April Ieremia on Thursday, 7 February 2019

She said Cocks never did anything half-heartedly, which is what made him so good at his job.


"He did the building and he did it really well. He worked so hard. I would be sort of faffing around ... doing all the TV bits and he would be out the back, in the cold, actually doing the proper building because he wanted these kids to have awesome rooms."

Homer said Cocks was a lovely soul.

"A message would pop up on my phone, and it would either be really dodgy jokes because we both have quite a dodgy sense of humour, or he would be on a work site and want to know the name of a song and ... he would hum a little bit to me and then yell out to the boys and then that would be it for a few months."

She said her mate was a really sensitive person who would always help out a friend in need.

"He was also the kind of guy that you could go to ... and if you needed help, he would be your go-to guy, you know, he would never refuse you."

When Cocks' former employer TVNZ reported his death on One News last night, newsreader Simon Dallow paid his respects at the end of the segment.

TVNZ said in a statement to the Herald that Cocks was 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.''

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of Cocksy's passing. A much loved and respected member of our club....

Posted by Tairua Boardriders on Thursday, 7 February 2019

A former television co-star, April Ieremia, posted on Facebook that Cocks was "one of the kindest men on the planet".

Former Newstalk ZB journalist Grayson Ottaway tweeted that he had only done "wee bits" on radio with Cocks over the years but he felt like a best mate.

"He did that to people. He could swing a hammer and a laugh."

The Tairua Boardriders posted on the Facebook that Cocks was a "much loved and respected member of our club".

"There's always room for a legend in the line up and we'll save a spot for our great mate Cocksy out there."

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