A promising young lawyer and water polo champion has died suddenly in Auckland.

Finn Henry Mrkusic Lowery, who died on Sunday after a battle with depression, is being remembered as a loving, kind, generous, intelligent and talented man who had a promising future.

"Finn loved generously, enriching the lives of all around him," a death notice published in the Herald read.

"Our hearts ache with loss but are richer for having lived with Finn."


Lowery, 28, was the youngest of four children to parents Martin and Anna, including former Newshub journalist Sophie Lowery.

"Finn was an amazing man... he loved life, made the most of every day, and was universally adored by all who knew him."

Lowery married his long-time girlfriend Rebecca Allen, who is said to be heartbroken, a little over a year ago.

The couple had returned to New Zealand in December.

Lowery was a "highly intelligent" academic who was awarded a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in England in 2014.

Lowery studied a masters in Latin American studies, economics, sociology and politics. His dissertation was on the role of constitutional courts in universal healthcare regimes.

His family said: "Finn helped out with a soup kitchen at Oxford, taking dinners to the homeless. The conversations he had with the people on the street during this time was not kept there, he continued to talk to them during the week when he passed with kindness, respect and dignity.

"Finn loved skiing, salsa and swing dancing, speaking Spanish and French, cooking, hiking, cycle trips and romancing his beloved wife Rebecca.


"Finn was warm and loving; he was always the first to open his arms or the door to his home and invite someone to the dinner table."

Lowery also excelled out of the classroom. He was a former New Zealand Mens Water Polo captain having learned the sport at the North Harbour Water Polo Club with his three siblings, from a young age.

Lowery was also a captain, coach and mentor at the North Harbour club, which posted a message of condolence on its Facebook page this week.

"It is with our deepest sympathy that we mourn the loss of a club member, Finn Lowery. A Turt, a National Champion and an all round legend to so many people within our North Harbour Family. Rest in peace Finn."

It is with our deepest sympathy that we mourn the loss of a club member, Finn Lowery. A Turt, a National Champion and an...

Posted by North Harbour Water Polo Club on Sunday, 24 March 2019

A member of the club described him as a bubbly person who excelled at everything he turned his hand to.

"He was always full of laughter. He was always full of love. He would just do things other people wouldn't.

"He would talk to the kids [at training] as if they were the most important person in the world. It was just in his nature."

Lowery grew up in Mairangi Bay and attended Murrays Bay Intermediate School and Rangitoto College, were he was head boy in 2008.

While at school he played water polo for Rangitoto, North Harbour and New Zealand. He played for New Zealand at the world championships in 2013 in Barcelona.

Finn Lowery competing for Rangitoto College in water polo in 2005. Photo / File
Finn Lowery competing for Rangitoto College in water polo in 2005. Photo / File

After school Lowery moved to Europe and played for a club in Madrid before returning to New Zealand to study law, political philosophy and French at the University of Auckland.

During 2012 he interned at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, and after university Lowery worked for a stint at the Auckland Public Defenders Service.

After graduating Lowery was the 2016 recipient of Auckland Law School's top prize – the Auckland District Law Society's prize for the top law undergraduate.

He also received a Faculty of Law Dean's Academic Excellence Award and a Senior Scholar Award.

Lowery, who had travelled to other parts of Europe in law student competitions, had been less concerned with a conventional career path and more interested in helping to advance the interests of those less fortunate in society.

While he waited to take up the Rhodes Scholarship, he and Allen travelled to India.

A friend who knew Lowery for more than a decade described him as genuine.

"He was the kindest person you could ever meet," she said. "He was always willing to go out of his way to help you.

"He would never see the negative side of anyone. He really brought out the best of everyone. That's what made him such an excellent person."

She said Lowery was open about his battle with depression but was always more concerned for friends than for himself.

A member of New Zealand Water Polo said men's and women's teams competing this week in Perth took the news of Lowery's death hard.

"The news hit here unbelievably hard. He was an amazing guy. Highly intelligent, a really good, focused individual. We've lost a member of the family."

The group would miss Lowery's funeral this weekend but it's understood many friends were flying in from around the world for the service.

Lowery's death notice welcomed donations to the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation in lieu of flowers.

Where to get help

Need to talk? 1737 Free call or text 24/7
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans: 0800 726 666

If it is an emergency and you feel you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Australia - Lifeline: 13-11-14
America - Suicide prevention helpline: 1-800-273-8255
UK - 1-800- SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) and 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)