Tongan child killed in community hall carpark in south Auckland

    A 21-month-old Tongan toddler was killed at a carpark in Papakura on Saturday afternoon.

    Odeliah Tonga was described as always full of energy and will be sorely missed, Stuff reported.

    Police said in a statement the child has died after being struck by a vehicle in a driveway in Smiths Avenue.

    Emergency services were called to the scene at 5.10pm, it said.

    Police also said they were still investigating the fatality.

    Odeliah’s grandmother Wilhemina Laulu told media the Calvary Pentecostal Fellowship, of which her son-in-law Daniel Tonga was the pastor, had been using the hall for the past two years.

    She reportedly said “her daughter, Sarah Eden-Tonga, had gone to move her car after a meeting at the hall and her granddaughter, Odeliah, had rushed out to follow her.”

    “My daughter was driving the car and she didn’t know she’d run over her.”

    She said the family was still trying to come to terms with the event, Stuff reported.

    “It’s such a tragic loss for us. But we’re overwhelmed by how the community has come together to show its support.”

    Laulu said the family had held Odeliah’s first birthday at the hall with the church group in 2019.

    And despite her tragic death, they were planning to continue to use the centre.

    “It’s times like this that we join forces. We don’t want this to stop the group.”

     Laulu said the family was waiting for the Coroner to release Odeliah’s body so they could hold a service.

    “We’re also waiting for some family members to arrive from Tonga and Australia and from around New Zealand.”


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