Young Kiwi father Rikki Tako dies from brain tumour one week after wedding

A young Taranaki man has died from a brain tumour just one week after his wedding.

Thirty-two-year-old Rikki Tako was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain stem tumour late in 2023, following a workplace injury.

In March, he was told he had less than six months to live - then he died on the 26th, just one week after his marriage at a beach near New Plymouth.  

His widow, 26-six-year-old Nykala Garrett, quit her job at the end of last year to care for him.

Since then, the couple and their family had been relying on Work and Income.

"We want to enjoy the time we have left together, and be positive, and have experiences, and do things that bring us joy," Garrett told Newshub at the time.

More than $40,000 was donated to the family through a Givealittle page set up to "help ease the financial burden for this young family facing a devastating future".

Garrett had previously been worried she would have to take out a loan to pay for the funeral costs.

When a story about the Givealittle was published, Garrett was called to a meeting with the Ministry of Social Development, where she said she was warned the money could be considered a cash asset - and receiving it could affect the couple's benefit eligibility.

The pair had been together for eight years and had multiple children.