Meddy Muir died trying to cross the road to comfort a baby and two young children who had just been in a car accident.
The 61-year-old Kaiwaka woman was travelling with her son James, 20, when they collided with a car in which the children were travelling.
Her husband, who is also called James, was in another car close behind them.
No one was injured in the crash and she was urged by her family to stay in the car while they sorted insurance matters on the other side of the road.
However, when she saw the crying children she rushed across State Highway 1, just north of Orewa.
"I know Meddy and I know what she'd be like, she'd just try to help," her son-in-law Rolland Muir told the Herald.
But Meddy never made it to the children. She was instead hit by a motorcyclist and despite his best efforts to save her, she died at the scene.
The family understand the motorbike rider, who performed CPR, is a volunteer fireman.
They hold no grudges and want him to know they have "already forgiven him".
"We know he is very, very distraught himself.
"We really, really feel for the man."
Muir said Meddy was due to get hearing aids the day after the crash so probably didn't hear the motorbike travelling towards her. He also said it would have been difficult for the motorbike rider to see her as she feels the cold and was wearing a black puffer jacket.
"I don't think she heard the bike coming but she saw the kids across the road. She crossed the road to console the children."
He said being with children was Meddy's greatest joy.
She had three stepchildren and four grandchildren through them and her own son.
He said she was like a "pied piper" and her nieces and nephews call her a second mum.
He thinks the kids connected with her partly because she was just 144cm tall.
"She just about loved everybody's kids ... She just looked after them all."
Her son was the first on the scene and has been sedated "because he's not coping".
Meddy was a loyal Jehovah's Witness and Muir said she epitomised her faith's spirit of being self-sacrificing and giving.
"It's a great loss for everybody who knows her. They didn't have a heart if they didn't fall in love with her. She was very humble and unassuming.
"She'd give away her own teeth if she thought you needed them more than she did.
"It's going to be a big hole for a long time."
Muir said Meddy, her husband and their son had lived on his property since the beginning of the year, as James Snr had some heart problems.
He said the "close-knit family" ate dinner together every night.
Meddy met her husband through her faith 23 years ago. They married 21 years ago and had celebrated their wedding anniversary the day before she died.