The mother of teenager killed in a central Auckland car crash at the weekend has urged other families to treasure their children and to love and forgive them.
Robbie Taylor, a 17-year-old St Peter's College student, was a passenger in a car that crashed into a tree on Ian McKinnon Drive, Eden Terrace, on Sunday afternoon.
The driver, 20, and another passenger, 19, were injured.
Robbie's mother, Fran, says every parent's worst nightmare is that their child should die before them.
"Nothing can bring them physically back, but his spirit is everywhere," she said in a statement read out by her sister, Adie Lecky.
"In baptism and death he is returned to the universe and we will be with him again. It's the circle of life, my red head Lion King, and you are part of the circumference.
"Treasure your children, love and show them forgiveness, as forgiveness was Robbie's biggest gift to others."
Robbie is to be farewelled at a funeral on Saturday morning at St Benedict's Catholic Church, just up the road from where he was killed.
Ms Lecky said Robbie's sister, Georgia-Rose, 21, had returned from overseas to join other members of the family who had all gathered following news of the tragic accident, which Mrs Taylor got from the driver's mother.
Ms Lecky said the others in the car were known to the family, but she preferred not to elaborate on what had happened and to instead pay tribute to a nephew she described as fun-loving and forgiving.
She described Robbie as someone who didn't seek to be in the limelight and liked to keep the peace.
"He was one of those people, he wouldn't be in a group and be the focal point, but he made people laugh and he cracked jokes.
"He was really supportive to kids at school who were picked on, or troubled kids."
She said her nephew loved his sport and was a keen football player and avid fan of the Arsenal team.
He also loved to rap, and enjoyed cooking.
Like most kids his age, Ms Lecky said, Robbie was yet to make a final call on his future career, but jobs in the media or as a teacher were some of the options he had toyed with.
"Fran, who is also a teacher said, 'Oh, you'd never cope with all the paper work', but his response was, 'It's my way of giving back'."
That was indicative of the kind, giving kid Robbie was, Ms Lecky said.
Police investigations into the accident are not expected to be completed for a couple of months.