15 Dec 2015

Trust launched for Jonah Lomu's sons

7:38 pm on 15 December 2015

Jonah Lomu's generosity and the financial toll of his illness means there is no money in his estate left for his sons, the organiser of a trust to help them says.

Jonah Lomu's widow Nadene and sons at the memorial service for the former All Black.

Jonah Lomu's widow Nadene and sons at the memorial service. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Lomu died suddenly last month, aged 40, after suffering for many years from a chronic and serious kidney disorder.

The Jonah Lomu Legacy Trust has been set up by the New Zealand Rugby Players Association. Its chief executive Rob Nichol said the former All Black was an "unbelievably generous" person.

He said Lomu's illness had taken a toll on his earnings, leaving little for his widow Nadene and sons Brayley, six, and Dhyreille, five.

"He's definitely taken on the obligations of others, both financial or otherwise, and that's been at the expense of Nadene and the children.

"The family are not going to able to rely on any financial proceeds or ongoing benefits."

Deloitte partner Doug Wilson is one of four trustees who have been charged with collecting and distributing the trust's funds to Lomu's sons.

Mr Wilson would not discuss what happened to the money Lomu earned while playing rugby and through sponsorships with global brands.

But he said Lomu's rugby family wanted to help.

"It isn't an isolated incident but certainly with someone who's provided so much to New Zealand in terms of his stature and status, and what that's done for New Zealand Inc, I think we're all pretty much wanting to make sure we provide some support back for what he provided to New Zealand."

Mr Wilson was approached because of his work with the New Zealand Players Association helping professional players with their finances.

A Give a Little page set up in Nadene's name last month was taken down after a short time. Former All Blacks coach John Hart, speaking on behalf of Lomu's family, said Nadene had asked that the page be taken down.