The young woman tragically killed in an early morning crash in Mt Eden had only recently given birth to a young boy.
Tonga Pani died after the vehicle she was driving collided with a van on Mt Eden Rd near Three Kings Grove in Auckland just before 5am on Sunday.
Pani's friends and family are still in shock over the death of the 22-year-old devoted mum.
Cousin Nanne Vi Taumoepeau said Pani had been out with friends and was on her way back to her mum's house in Mt Eden to collect her 4-month-old son Oscar.
She did not know the details of the crash - just that Pani had been driving.
Taumoepeau said Oscar "had meant everything to her" and she had been raising him on her own.
"She was a good mother."
"She was a down-to-earth person. She would be there for anyone even though she doesn't have much to give. She would be at every function making sure everyone was okay."
Pani was close with her cousins and had promised to take Taumoepeau out on her 21st birthday next year - something that hurt her younger cousin to know would never be able to happen now.
Pani's death had also shaken friends and family in Tonga.
Her Tonga-based cousin Theresa Toli, who was still coming to terms with the painful news, said Pani had been raised by her aunty - Toli's mum - from when her father died at sea when she was just 4.
Her aunty had raised them like they were her own, but wanted them to have a better life.
In 2010 Pani and her two brothers moved to New Zealand to be with their mother who had remarried and had been granted permanent residency.
Pani attended Carmel College before starting work in various jobs.
While her priority in the past few months had been being a mum, she has also been doing African braiding from her North Shore home.
Her baby was now being cared for by his grandmother.
Pani's funeral is to be held on Friday and her death has been referred to the coroner.
A police spokesperson said their thoughts were with Pani's friends and family at this tragic time.