The Chinese community has rallied around the family of a man who was killed by a drink driver after discovering the culprit was one of their own.

On February 24, 2014, Luke MacKenzie was killed in a head-on collision as he was driving to work.

The man behind the wheel of the oncoming vehicle was 27-year-old Xingyu Shang, who was on his way home from a night on the town with friends.

He was able to pull himself out of the wreckage but instead of checking on the state of the victim, he flagged down a passing car and got a lift home.

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The case made headlines when the parents of 23-year-old Luke gave their blessing for a sentence of home detention rather than pleading for Shang to be locked up.

At Manukau District Court last month, the 27-year-old defendant was given nine months home detention by Judge Gus Andree Wiltens.

Members of Auckland's Chinese community heard about the case through a defence lawyer Michael Kan - who happened to be in court for the sentencing - and were desperate to help.

The result was a Givealittle fundraising page called "MacKenzies' Great Love".

The man behind the donations push did not want to be named but said he was struck by the words and actions of Luke's father Martin.

Tania MacKenzie and Martin MacKenzie. Photo / Dean Purcell
Tania MacKenzie and Martin MacKenzie. Photo / Dean Purcell

Mr MacKenzie and his wife Tania said though they had not forgiven Shang, their stance was based on honouring Luke rather than clinging on to a grudge that could tear them apart.

When asked how much they hoped to raise, the organiser said there was no target.

"The life lost does not have a price on it, and the appreciation of their great love is also priceless," he said.

"Every donation of a single dollar represents a heart touched, a hope lit, and a world a little better."

Mr MacKenzie last month told the court of the $18,000 bill for Luke's funeral and the six-figure sum the family had missed out on since the couple had been torn away from work for much of the last two years.

He told the Herald it was very uncomfortable to talk about money but he "humbly accepted" the offer of the fundraising page.

"I appreciate everything the Chinese community wants to do and in fact anyone who's offered any assistance," Mr MacKenzie said.

Just as he did last year on the anniversary of his son's death, the grieving father went to Chapel Rd, in Flat Bush, where the incident happened and stood with a large white cross that Luke's friends had made for him.

"I go there out of remembrance and respect for Luke," he said. "We just want the community to stop drinking and driving."

Anyone wanting to donate can do so at: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/mackenzieslove#