The Flaxmere community is outraged after a hit and run on Tuesday night which left a five-year-old victim fighting for his life.
Police last night said they were close to making an arrest as they continued their search for a driver and seized two vehicles of interest in relation to the accident.
The five-year-old boy was transferred to Auckland's Starship Children's Hospital on Tuesday night, where he remained in critical condition in the pediatric intensive care unit, after receiving head injuries when he was hit by a car on Kingsley Rd, Flaxmere.
One neighbour near the scene wanted to know the wellbeing of the boy and said yesterday of the driver: "I hope they get him, I hope the cops get the guy, the bugger - he should give himself up and just come forward.
"No little kid deserves this."
Road Policing Sergeant Clint Adamson said police seized two vehicles matching witnesses' descriptions but still needed to track down the driver.
One car was taken yesterday afternoon in Raleigh Pl in Flaxmere. Mr Adamson said he was confident it was the vehicle they were looking for rather than the car confiscated earlier near the scene of the accident.
"We are going to properly evaluate both cars and further enquires need to be made to confirm if they are connected to the incident, but the one we seized today [14 Aug] is alot more promising."
Flaxmere councillor Jacoby Poulain said it was "always devastating when a child was involved in such a terrible accident".
"I've no doubt there will be some anger amongst the family and those in the community but they will no doubt be very emotional and the health of the child will be the priority."
She said Flaxmere would band together and look after its own.
"I encourage the community, as they always do, to look after all our children and keep an eye on them in our playgrounds and along our roads, and report any suspicious activity from vehicles to police, council and community leaders."
She said one of the issues that has been raised by the community to council has been speeding along the suburb's roads.
"Half our [Flaxmere] population is under 25-years-old, with lots of kids outside and one of the issues has defiantly been speeding and needs to be an issue that is addressed."
Flaxmere community member and Hastings district councillor Henare O'Keefe was saddened to hear a child had been caught up in such an accident and would make an effort to visit the victim's family.
"My heart goes out to that family and hopefully the perpetrator will come forward - hopefully the police will be able to put it together and find him soon," he said.
Mr Adamson said the vehicle's registered owner was unknown but police were likely looking for a male driver and had received strong leads from the public.
"After the story in the paper people were made aware of what had happened and were on the look out.
"A few people have said they had seen the car driving around Flaxmere in the morning and had passed on that information to the local community constables, which was very helpful."
The serious crash unit was at the scene of the crash yesterday and police also took the bike the boy was riding when he was struck by the car for further examination.
"Given that the vehicle stopped down the road it is clear that the driver knew that they had hit something and police strongly urge the driver to come forward and talk to police about what happened," Mr Adamson said.
"It is likely the driver will be upset at the thought that they have struck a young child - and that family and friends will notice a change in the behaviour of that person.
"We have a possible suspect in mind and will continue making inquiries that will hopefully lead to an arrest and successful prosecution."
Police would like to talk to the driver and ask that anyone with information on the identity should call the Hawke's Bay Police on 06 8730 500 or the Crimestoppers line: 0800 555 111.