Police have confirmed that the driver killed in a crash at Helensville with her young nephews yesterday did not have a licence.
In fact, Cheyenne Hemana, 17, has never held a driver's licence.
The teenager died when the car she was driving collided with a van on State Highway 16.
Her 11-year-old nephew and front seat passenger Moashon Harrison and two-year-old nephew Mananui, known as Majesty, also died at the scene.
Majesty was in her carseat in the back of the vehicle with his six-year-old sister Messiah, who suffered a broken leg and is recovering at Starship Hospital.
Miss Hemana and the children all lived in Parakai, north-west of Auckland.
The driver of the van was seriously injured but is in a stable condition in Auckland City Hospital.
Police are continuing the investigation into the crash today.
A couple who came through the police cordon just after 7.30pm said they were related to the dead woman and children.
The man, who did not want to be named, said: "It's just sad. The bodies were there ... The white car was just munted. The front of the van was all smashed up. They cut the roof off."
Soon after, a kaumatua and group of Maori arrived to bless the site.
A neighbour told the Herald he heard a helicopter above his house and went to see what was going on. The white car was "split in half".
The dead woman's cousin, in Helensville, paid tribute to her on Facebook, saying: "Just don't know what to say my beautiful cousin, my heart feels so heavy right now. I can't believe it to be true, even though I know it is.
"God must have needed another angel to stand at his side, cos it's the only reason I have to explain this."
Another cousin, who was to have been celebrating his birthday yesterday, wrote: "I'm a bit shattered bout it to ... worst news I've had in ages."
Helensville residents also took to a Facebook page dedicated to the town to discuss the crash.
"Another sad day for the Helensville community. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends," wrote one man.
By Anna Leask @AnnaLeask Email Anna, Vaimoana Tapaleao Email Vaimoana