Funeral preparations are underway for Ashburton mum Cindy George and her three children with the Cook Islands community rallying around to help their grieving family.
Ms George along with her daughter Pio, 5, and sons Teuruaa, 3, and Telyzshaun, 2, were found dead in an Ashburton house last Thursday.
It is thought they died from carbon monoxide poisoning up to a week earlier. Fumes from a car left running to keep the battery "ticking over" in an adjourning garage were understood to have entered the house.
Post mortem examinations are expected to be carried out today to confirm the cause of death.
The post-mortems today could help police piece together the circumstances of their tragic deaths.
Ms George was born in the Cook Islands and had been living in Ashburton for about five years.
The Mid Canterbury Cook Islands community spent the weekend preparing for the arrival of family from the Cook Islands, Australia and other parts of New Zealand.
They have set up base in the Tinwald Scout Hall, where a steady stream of visitors have been dropping off food and bedding.
Ms George's aunt Ann Kiria said the final preparations for the tumatetenga (funeral) would be made today, when the pathology examination is completed.
The service will be held at the Tinwald War Memorial Hall, however Ms George and the children will first be taken to the scout hall where members of the Tiare Maori cultural group will form a guard of honour in respect of their former member.
Ms George's parents arrived in Ashburton from the Cook Islands last night to join her two older sisters from Auckland who have spent the weekend in Ashburton.
"We don't know how many people we will be catering for at this stage, or for how long,"Mrs Kiria said.
"We are really grateful for all the help and support we are receiving."
Bishop Pongia from Ashburton's Church of the Latter Day Saints where Ms George and her children worshipped said yesterday's service had been emotionally charged as the congregation shared memories and prayed for the family.
"Cindy has been coming to our church for five or six years," he said.
"The children also came along - they were a beautiful family."
Bishop Pongia has been supporting Ms George's family since the deaths were discovered.
"I've been with them since day one and we will be there for them as long as they need support," he said.
• Want to help? Donations of vegetables, rice, canned and dried food, and meat can be left at the Tinwald Scout Hall on Lagmhor Rd.
- Ashburton Guardian
- With additional reporting from NZ Herald