A three-year-old girl has died after a tragic playground accident.
Amberlie Pennington-Foley was fatally injured at the play area in Upper Hutt, New Zealand, on Thursday.
Her family had moved from the UK nine years ago, and are now trying to arrange for grieving relatives to fly over for support.
Amberlie’s mum Emma Pennington-Foley told Stuff : “The whole Upper Hutt community is grieving the loss of our baby right here with us and it’s clear to see that Amberlie has brought our already strong community closer together.
“She has really touched the lives of so many.
“The love and support of everybody around us – and indeed the world – has literally got us through the last few days. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Emma said the family is facing the “overwhelming” cost of getting relatives over from the UK.
A fundraising page to support Amberlie’s parents has raised more than £20,000.
The page, set up by friends, said: “After a tragic accident in the playground, 3 year old Amberlie passed away, leaving her parents, Emma and Rob and baby brother Theo absolutely devastated.
“Emma and Rob moved to New Zealand 9 years ago from the UK to set up a new life for themselves and to start a family. They left their parents and all their extended family in the UK.
“Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the global travel restrictions, it is proving very difficult and expensive to get their family to New Zealand to support one-another during this terrible time.
“We know that so many of Emma and Rob’s friends and family want to help at this extremely difficult time so we have set up this page as an avenue for people to help if they are able to do so and would like to.”
It said that Emma’s employer is helping pay to bring immediate family over to New Zealand, but added: However, the total costs of travel during Covid-19 are overwhelming.
“We are hoping to raise money to support the family with the costs of travel, quarantine and accommodation as well as holding a celebration of Amberlie’s short but happy life.”
Police have described the toddler’s death as a “tragic accident”.
Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy posted on Facebook : “We are shocked and saddened to hear the news of a child who died following a tragic accident at Harcourt Park today.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We will do everything we can to assist the appropriate authorities with their inquiries.”