Kiwi who died in Costa Rica on 35th birthday ‘a bright light’


Almost $40,000 has been raised to bring home the body of a New Zealander who died in Costa Rica.

Ari Mustonen, who was also known as Asae Gold, died last week on his 35th birthday. A Givealittle page set up by a family friend said Mustonen was over in Costa Rica “chasing his dreams and doing what he loved” when he died.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed to the Herald they were aware of Mustonen’s death, and the ministry was providing consular assistance.

A family member told the Herald Mustonen’s mother is travelling to Costa Rica later this week to bring his body home. They said the donations have been “absolutely overwhelming and so very appreciated”.

According to his social media, Mustonen was a “trauma-informed breathwork facilitator” who worked with people to try to heal them using breathwork – where breathing techniques are used to try to relax people into a trance-like state, where they can heal their emotional trauma.

“We lost an Earth angel,” one friend wrote.

“Ari passed away suddenly in Costa Rica on his 35th birthday. Ari was a real one, he was inspiring, empathetic, kind, hilarious, supportive, lived life to the fullest and was such a bright light in so many lives.”

Another person said he was a “true friend” and brother.

“A friend who consistently supported you and made a significant impact on the lives of others. A friend who encouraged and motivated you to reach your dreams. This is a friend who will always be remembered.”

The Givealittle page set up to bring Mustonen’s body home and support his grieving family has already reached $39,556 of it’s $40,000 goal in just five days.