Welcome Bay boy Rawiri Wilson-Te Whata had been playing hide
and seek with family and friends when he was called across
the road for dinner.
In the rush home and with an ear infection causing trouble,
the seven-year-old did not hear the oncoming car which hit
him -- inflicting injuries so serious he remains in a
critical but stable condition at Auckland's Starship
The crash happened on Monday night on Meander Drive in front
of several brothers, cousins and aunts, who were yesterday
busy organising family to join Rawiri's mother at his bedside
The Selwyn Ridge student still needs surgery to help with
swelling from his injuries.
Aunt Monique Te Whata said Rawiri was playing with several
other children across the road when she sent her son Cassidy
to call him for dinner.
"He was here [front deck] yelling out 'dinner'. He [Rawiri]
was running across the road and as I turned around to close
the door I heard it. I heard something bang and I turned and
I thought it was my son lying there."
Monique said she then realised what had happened.
Rawiri was knocked to the ground a few metres from where the
car had stopped.
Monique said she ran over to Rawiri who was drifting in and
out of consciousness and alerted the rest of the family, who
contacted emergency services.
Despite the trauma of what had happened, the children who
witnessed the collision were yet to digest how dire the
situation was, Monique said.
However, the first person at Rawiri's side was Trey, his
six-year-old cousin he had been playing with.
"He wasn't really moving," Trey said.
Fellow aunt Janie Te Whata said Rawiri had no idea the car
was coming. "He just shot out in front of the car and the car
Janie said the family had been inundated with support, for
which they were immensely grateful.
"Rawiri loves all his friends at his school and he will be so
speechless when he comes home with all the love and support
everyone has shown for him.
"He is an outgoing little boy with the biggest heart for
anyone he knows. If anyone needs anything he will do it, no
matter what it is."
Janie said the family was not looking to blame anyone for the
It is understood the driver is another resident on the street
but not known to the family.
Western Bay of Plenty head of road policing Senior Sergeant
Ian Campion said no charges had been laid but police were yet
to speak to each witness.
Mr Campion said early indications suggested speed and alcohol
were not contributing factors.
"But at this early stage we are keeping an open mind. Our
secondary concern is of course the welfare of the boy."
- Bay of Plenty Times