The driver who hit a woman outside an Auckland nightclub will know what they did and the front of their vehicle will be damaged, say police.

Alesi Apulu-Faafua, 27, died after she was hit by a vehicle that failed to stop about 5.15am on Saturday. She had been at the Le Puha nightclub and was thought to be walking home when she was hit on Morrin Rd in Panmure.

Mrs Apulu-Faafua suffered critical head injuries and was rushed to Auckland City Hospital by ambulance. She died later in the day.

Police urged anyone with information to come forward. Detective Sergeant James Robson said he was following "favourable leads".

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"The investigation is ongoing. We are trying to locate the vehicle that failed to stop after hitting her," he said.

"We would ask the driver to present himself at the Glen Innes police station. Tell us what happened."

Mrs Apulu-Faafua's family were too distraught yesterday to speak about her death. But her sister wrote an emotional tribute on Facebook.

"Why did you leave me on my own sis? You were the closest thing to me when mum left us, and now you've left me," she said.

"I still can't believe you're gone, you left us sooner than soon. They say you are in a better place...

"No one will ever be the sister you were to me. You played such a big role in my life, you weren't only my sister but my best friend, my go-to girl, my chef, counsellor and 100 other things any sister would dream their sister to be to them.

"Words cannot describe the way I feel right now but I want you to know that we love you so much ... You'll never ever be forgotten my sister."

The owner of Le Puha, Chris Yates, could not be contacted yesterday.

Le Puha was closed, but evidence of the weekend was visible. Bottles littered the fenced-off yard, and several half-finished drinks could be seen. Bottles and smashed glass also littered the carpark and grass verge.

Mr Robson said the driver of the car that hit Mrs Apulu-Faafua, a grey sedan or station wagon and possibly a Ford Falcon, would know they had hit her.

"Given her injuries and our inquiries to date, it is highly likely that they would know they had hit somebody. There would also be some sort of damage to that vehicle."

The vehicle was last seen heading along Morrin Rd towards College Rd.

Mr Robson said he wanted to speak to the driver or anyone who saw the vehicle in the Le Puha carpark, on Morrin Rd or in the wider area.

Mrs Apulu-Faafua, who is understood to have lived with her husband in Mangere, described herself as "happily married" on an online profile. She also said that she loved her family dearly.

She was from Mangere but she spent time living in Australia.

CAN YOU HELP?

Phone Detective Sergeant James Robson on (09) 524-1936 or 027-496-7886.