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The parents of a teenage boy killed on his way home from celebrating the All Blacks' World Cup win wanted him to stay at home that night.
But Sanele Pauli, 17, was so desperate to be part of the festivities that he pleaded with his mother for a week until she let him go.
Now Teevao Pauli must say goodbye to her boy for ever, and is left wondering if he would still be alive if she had not changed her mind just hours before kick-off.
Sanele was on his way home in the early hours of Labour Day and had just stepped off a bus with his brothers when a car hit him in Great North Rd, Pt Chevalier.
He was 500m from home. The Herald revealed last week that the man driving the car was a disqualified driver with three previous drink-driving convictions.
The 38-year-old had a breath-alcohol level of 512mcg - the limit in 400mcg. Police allege he was also speeding.
Mrs Pauli was sitting waiting for her boys to come home.
"The whole week Sanele was asking me. I said, `No, I don't want you to go,'' she said. "But I could tell that he really wanted to.''
Mrs Pauli eventually agreed to drop Sanele and his brothers Tapu, 15, and Sefo, 14, in Queen St.
"Sanele was so excited. He was the last one to get out of the car. He turned and said, `Thanks mum,' and I knew he was so happy.''
Tapu had a cellphone to call home if they needed a lift, or text if they were taking a bus.
"I stayed up, sitting and waiting for their call. Tapu called me and I heard him crying ... `Mum, mum, come ... Sanele got hit by a car and he's not breathing'.''
Mrs Pauli woke her husband, File, and they rushed to the scene.
"I was crying, I was just begging, `God, please, God, please, I don't want him to die.'
"When I got there I saw him lying on the road on his own. I asked the policeman, `Why are you not helping him?' He just comforted us and said, `I'm sorry, we couldn't do anything. He's already gone.'
"I asked if I could go and hold him and say goodbye, but they couldn't let me. My boys were saying, `Sorry, mum.' They were blaming themselves for what happened, especially Tapu.''
Sanele was crossing the road with Tapu when he was hit. Tapu told his mother he saw the car coming towards them. He was between the car and his brother.
"Sefo got off the bus and ran across the road. Sanele and Tapu stayed on longer to say goodbye to their cousins. When the bus left, they crossed the road. Tapu didn't know if Sanele saw the car. He said it happened so fast. He stopped, he was right there, he was looking at the car ... then he heard the noise of the car hitting Sanele.''
Mrs Pauli said the boys were taking their brother's death very hard.
His younger sisters Celyn, 15, and twins Faith and Hope, 7, were also devastated.
"The police tried to explain about the driver but I didn't want to know. Nothing's going to bring my son back. I'm still just trying to focus on my boy. I haven't thought about the driver yet.''
Sanele's body has been at home with his family this week. His funeral is on Saturday.
He would have graduated from Avondale College this month and had enrolled in a mechanics course at Unitec. Mrs Pauli said Sanele was a "daddy's boy'' and wanted to be a mechanic like his father.
"He was his father's right-hand man. His father relied on him to help with the cars. I'm just asking myself, how do I say goodbye to him when I bury him? How will I accept that? I know I will never see him again.''
Mrs Pauli said that if she could say one last thing to her boy, it would be "Go in peace''.
"We're praying that he's going to be in heaven. I know he's going to be a good angel - our guardian angel.''
- Anna Leask of The New Zealand Herald