Robbie Magasiva opens up about the moment he learned that Pua had passed away

Publish Date
Monday, 8 July 2019, 5:19PM
Photo / Getty Images & NZME

Photo / Getty Images & NZME

Robbie Magasiva has spoken about the moment he learned his younger brother Pua had died - and his family's ongoing grief.

Pua, the 38-year-old actor and former Shortland Street star, was found dead at a central Wellington address in the early hours of Saturday 11 May.

Robbie, a fellow actor who had starred with Pua on Shortland Street and Sione's Wedding, told Woman's Day of the moment he learned of his younger brother's death from Pua's twin Tanu, and had to then break the news to their parents.

"That wasn't a good phone call. When Dad answered, he was all chipper, and then I had to tell him and he started wailing," he told Woman's Day.

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"I'd never heard that before. In the background, I could hear Mum yelling, 'What's wrong, what's wrong?' And he had to tell her."

The death had hit their tight family hard.

"To be honest, life will never be the same for us," he told Woman's Day. "Everyone is coping differently, but we are all grieving."

Born in Apia, Samoa, Pua and his family moved to New Zealand when he was two. He was raised in Wellington and attended St Patrick's College.

Pua rose to fame on Shortland Street where he played the much-loved role of nurse Vinnie Kruse between 2003-06 and then 2011-18.

He also had roles in the Power Rangers television series, Sione's Wedding and Outrageous Fortune.

Pua, who has a young daughter from his first marriage, married Lizz Sadler in April last year, 18 months after meeting on Instagram.

Robbie told Woman's Day there could have been warning signs that not all was well with his younger brother in recent times.

"When I was in Melbourne, I had reached out and said I was worried about him. I could foresee the fall. I'd suggested a counsellor, but he didn't want to hear it."

Robbie urged others to speak to each other and to check in on their friends.

The magazine and four-page interview is on sale now.


Where to get help:

 Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
 Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
 Youth services: (06) 3555 906
 Youthline: 0800 376 633
 Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
 Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
 The Word
 Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
 Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
 CASPER Suicide Prevention
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.


This article was first published on and is republished here with permission.