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Chinese centenarian thought to be NZ's oldest man dies

WELLINGTON, Aug. 31 — A 107-year-old Chinese-born centenarian, who was possibly New Zealand's oldest man, has died in Wellington.

Canton-born Taiwung Yu Hoi, who celebrated his birthday on Friday, died early Tuesday of natural causes, the Dominion-Post newspaper reported.

Yu Hoi's long life had been attributed to his love of Chinese herbs and daily hot water — although he had a big love of KFC as well, granddaughter Jessica Yu Hoi told the newspaper.

Born in 1904, he emigrated at the age of 24 to Samoa, where he grew cocoa plants, married a local woman and had 11 children.

He moved to New Zealand in 1971 and made Porirua, in the capital, his home.

He was always passionate about gardens and instilled a strong work ethic in his children, Leonie Yu Hoi said.

Another daughter-in-law, Toto Yu Hoi, said his good health was down to a daily breakfast of hot water, porridge and toast.

The report said about two dozen of Yu Hoi's estimated 200 children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren spent his birthday with him, and celebrated with two giant birthday cakes decorated with his photo.

Yu Hoi was thought to be the oldest man in New Zealand, but no official records of the oldest New Zealanders were kept, said the report.

Two 108-year-old women lived in the South Island, and a 109- year-old Auckland woman Lena Ray, believed to have been the oldest New Zealander, died in March, said the report. (PNA/Xinhua) DCT/eds

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