A young mother and baby who died during childbirth were buried together yesterday - with the newborn son in his mother's arms.
Casey Nathan and Kymani Casey Nathan-Tukiri were buried at the family urupa near the Waingaro Marae, west of Ngaruawahia.
Hundreds of mourners spent most of the week at the marae to grieve for the pair.
Casey died at Waikato Hospital on Monday, six hours after giving birth at Huntly Birthcare.
Kymani was born with breathing difficulties and is understood to have suffered heart, liver and kidney damage during the birth.
He died at Waikato Hospital the next day.
Casey's uncle, Tem Ormsby, described the 20-year-old as a "bubbly, cheeky girl who did not have a bad word to say about anyone".
Ormsby said Casey's devastated partner Hayden Tukiri was being supported by whanau but was lost for words over what had happened to his dream of fatherhood.
"They were both so looking forward to being parents and being a family. He is wondering how this happened."
Ormsby said whanau also wanted to know how a seemingly normal pregnancy and childbirth went so wrong.
"We have spoken to the coroner and he said it will be a while for all the answers. We want answers now but we have to be patient so the job is done properly," he said.
Preliminary results show Casey had haemorrhaged and Ormsby said there was "suspicious circumstances" around the blood clotting.
The midwife who delivered Kymani had 18 months experience and whanau wanted to know if this was a factor.
It is understood she has left town because she feared for her safety.
General manager of Birthcare Ann Hanson said midwives should be judged on their competence - not time in the job.
She believed the midwife had done all she could in the tragic situation.
"The grief is so dreadful, it is the worst nightmare. I feel so sorry for the midwife because what is being said is so wrong," said Hanson.
"Everyone worked so hard that day and did everything they could."By Kirsty Wynn Email Kirsty