More Top Stories


Bigger and busier 2023: PM

31 December 2022

Other Sports

Double gold for Darts

21 January 2023


Population policy endorsed

10 January 2023


PM Brown vows to change law

23 January 2023

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022


We’re halfway there!

16 November 2022


From the river to the ocean

18 November 2022

Former Cook Islands international sevens rugby player in coma following brutal assault

Wednesday 10 November 2021 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Australia, Regional


Former Cook Islands international sevens rugby player in coma following brutal assault
Former Cook Islands International player Kairan Mahia and his family. PC: SUPPLIED. 21110915.

Former Cook Islands international sevens rugby union player Kairan Mahia, 29, is in an induced coma in ICU at Royal Perth Hospital after he was allegedly hit from behind in a brutal assault on Sunday morning in Australia.

According to Australia media reports Mahia, a father of two, and a fitness instructor had stepped in to help a woman who was caught up in an altercation when he was struck in the head from behind.   

Mahia’s mother Lydia Marsh and her mum depart Rarotonga this week en route to Perth, Australia to be by his side.

Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and flight paths available, Marsh and her mother are in the process of sorting out travel exemption forms to reach her son - and may possibly have to wait in Auckland and Sydney until such a time they can travel to Perth.

She has received a tremendous amount of  “support, kindness, comfort and prayers,” not only from friends and family, but also from strangers.

“We appreciate everyone who has reached out to us and offered comfort, it has been overwhelming how people show such kindness… people have also stopped by to say prayers for him.

“We thank everyone here (Cook Islands) and overseas for your words of support and comfort.”

As of yesterday afternoon doctors had advised that Mahia be kept in a coma said Marsh, “he is in good care where he is…”

Australia media reported the incident as a brutal assault in Hillarys on Sunday morning which left Mahia with serious head injuries.

He was taken by ambulance to Royal Perth Hospital, where he remains in ICU in a critical condition and being monitored for swelling on the brain.

Cook Islands Rugby community expressed their sadness at the shocking news, “our prayers go out to him and his family for a speedy recovery,” the organisation said.

Friend and colleague James Clarke told PerthNow that Mahia was a “gentle, quiet-spoken person” who appeared to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Disbelief, shock, devastated. It’s the only way I can describe it,” Clarke said.

Clarke has launched A GoFundMe page to raise money for the family while Mahia is in intensive care, “initially I just sent it out to our crew … and straightaway the response was overwhelming.

“Kairan is one of our friends, the best employee and team member, and an all-round great guy.

“He was brutally attacked and now lies in ICU, we are devastated to hear what’s happened to him and want to do what we can to help.

“Kairan has a wife and two young daughters who must now try and hold their lives together while he fights for his.

“Please give generously to help his family while he is unable to work, to take some of the pressure off in their darkest days.”

Clarke said he, along with others is praying for Kairan, and hopes prayers, along with  financial support to sustain his family, can get them all through this.

“We look forward to seeing you soon Kairan. Hang in there buddy,”

To offer support for Kairan and his family, visit the GoFundMe page “Please help Kairan!”