Blues and North Harbour prop Michael Tamoaieta died suddenly yesterday.

The 23-year old was a much-loved partner to Helen, and father to their daughter Aihana, and a dearly loved son and friend to many.

Today the Blues, North Harbour and New Zealand Rugby communities offered their condolences to his family.

Blues Chief Executive Michael Redman said the Blues were stunned by the news and deeply saddened at his death.

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Mike Tamoaieta, Bryn Gatland and Patrick Tuipulotu of the Blues look on during the round 10 Super Rugby match between the Blues and the Highlanders. Photo / Getty Images.
Mike Tamoaieta, Bryn Gatland and Patrick Tuipulotu of the Blues look on during the round 10 Super Rugby match between the Blues and the Highlanders. Photo / Getty Images.

"Michael was a talented athlete and our focus is to offer our support and sympathy for the family, and we are supporting our team and staff, some of whom are currently overseas."

North Harbour General Manager David Gibson said: "Our deepest sympathy goes to Michael's partner Helen, his daughter Aihana and his family at this difficult time. He will be dearly missed."

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said: "Our sincerest condolences are with Michael's family at this very sad time.

"Michael was a valued member of the Blues and North Harbour rugby environments and had been part of the New Zealand Secondary Schools team. We know his family, club and former school mates will be feeling this loss and our thoughts are with them all."

Tamoaieta's family have asked for privacy as they deal with the shock of his death.

His partner Helen Ti'eti'e shared the tragic news on Facebook this morning saying it was with great sadness that she announced the "passing of our beloved Mike Tamoaieta".

"Our wonderful, beautiful friend, brother, amazing uncle and father to Aihana.

"At this time, our family ask for privacy until further notice. We appreciate all your prayers, love and support through this difficult time."

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To our dearest family and friends, it is with great sadness to announce the passing of our beloved Mike Tamoaieta. Our...

Posted by Helen Ti'eti'e on Friday, 1 March 2019

Martin Takirua Tamoaieta wrote: "I love you bro, rest in paradise Mikey Mika Tamoaieta".

Friend Brendan Ward wrote: "So sorry to hear. Mikey Mika Tamoaieta you honestly had one of the kindest, biggest hearts which impressed me just as much as your skills on the field. Taken way to soon."

Atu Finau said: "RIP DOX. It was good to jam alongside you. Good talent. You'll be missed bro Mikey Mika Tamoaieta."

Warriors player and former Sacred Heart old boy Solomone Kata wrote: "RIL [rest in love] my Toko. Ofa atu man."

Many expressed their shock and wrote of being heartbroken at the news of the "beautiful, humble, big-hearted" young man's death.