- A New Zealand community have rallied around the family of a three-year-old girl
- Amberlie Pennington-Foley died at Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt on Thursday
- Her death, which police described as an accident, was referred to the coroner
- Amberlie's mother said the entire town has been rocked by her sudden death
A New Zealand community have rallied around the family of a three-year-old girl who was killed in a freak playground accident.
Amberlie Pennington-Foley died after being critically injured at Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt on Thursday.
Her death, which police described as a tragic accident, has been referred to the coroner.
Amberlie's mother Emma Pennington-Foley said the entire town has been rocked by her sudden death.
'Words alone will never be enough to convey our heartfelt thanks to everybody who has donated to the Givealittle page or delivered food and flowers to us,' she 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 family, who moved from the UK to New Zealand in 2011, feared they wouldn't be able to afford to fly their relatives over amid coronavirus travel restrictions.
But a Give A Little fundraising page started by two of Ms Pennington-Foley's close friends has already amassed $35,000 in donations.
The money will go towards travel for Ms Pennington-Foley and her husband's parents, as well as hotel quarantine and 'holding a celebration of Amberlie's short but happy life'.
'Any excess funds will be used by Emma and Rob to ease the financial burden on the family,' the page read.
Ms Pennington-Foley said she is overwhelmed by the support her family has received.
'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,' Ms Pennington-Foley said.
Upper Hutt mayor Wayne Guppy said his thoughts and prayers are with the family.
'We are shocked and saddened to hear the news of a child who died following a tragic accident at Harcourt Park today,' he said.
'Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We will do everything we can to assist the appropriate authorities with their inquiries.'