The "outstanding" SAS soldier who died tragically after he was injured in a training accident will be better remembered as a father and a friend to many.

The New Zealand Army has confirmed that the man who died last night in Auckland was Nicholas Kahotea.

In a statement posted on Facebook the Chief of Army Major General John Boswell wrote:

"It is with regret that I must inform you of the passing of Lance Corporal Nicholas Kahotea, a soldier, father, friend and proud New Zealander.


"Nick passed away last night after sustaining injuries in a NZSOF training activity.

"Nick will be remembered as a professional soldier, but more so as a father and friend to many.

"He was an outstanding soldier and a top bloke."

Boswell said Kahotea joined the Army on January 25, 2006, as a Royal New Zealand Engineer.

He was initially posted to the 1st New Zealand Special Air Service Regiment as a specialist searcher in 2008.

Kahotea successfully completed NZSAS selection and Cycle of Training and was badged as a NZSAS operator in December 2014.

"He saw operational service in Afghanistan, and was awarded NZOSM, NZDSM (RF), NZGSM and Nato ISAF (Afghanistan) medals," Boswell said.

Lance Corporal Nicholas Kahotea passed away last night. Photo / NZ Army
Lance Corporal Nicholas Kahotea passed away last night. Photo / NZ Army

"He was a consummate professional, who was known for his dedication and reliability – always upholding our core values in every endeavour.


"I know that his family, friends and colleagues will be keenly feeling the loss and my thoughts are with them as we remember Nick."

The New Zealand Defence Force offered its deepest sympathy to Lance Corporal Kahotea's family and will extend its full support services to them.

Police were notified of the incident about 10pm yesterday.

Counties Manukau police detective senior sergeant Malcolm Hassall said they were investigating a "sudden death incident" on behalf of the Coroner involving a member of the NZ Defence Force, after a training accident at Ardmore.

The NZDF would hold a Court of Inquiry.

The two-week training exercise, which was being undertaken with United States forces, is currently suspended.